Beginning on Sept. 14, a half-dozen Times reporters began working from a stack of 100 missing person fliers collected from points around the World Trade Center site. They crafted profiles--stories containing short but signature details of the lives they strove to present. These portraits transcend race, class, and gender lines and tell of the old and the young, praising their individuality while at the same time cutting through their differences to capture the poignancy of their shared similarity: life cut short in an American tragedy. The stories have become a source of connection and consolation, a focus for the sorrow of readers both reeling from disbelief and searching for support. To paraphrase "Portraits" reporter Charlie LeDuff, there's more than one Ground Zero--there are thousands of Ground Zeros. Portraits: 9/11/01, a collection of the over 1,800 profiles published in the Times, helps us visit them all. 2000 b/w photos
About the Author: Over 120 reporters from The New York Times participated in the writing of the paper's daily feature, "Portraits of Grief," some for only a couple of days and others for months. Howell Raines, the Executive Editor of the Times, writes the foreword for Portraits, and Janny Scott, a reporter on the Times's Metro desk, writes the introduction.
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