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One of the most indelible memories in the collective psyche of Americans - and the world - comes from the images of the World Trade Center following the terrorist attacks on the United States, September 11, 2001. Yesterday, Americans and the world collectively remembered those who lost their lives in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania ten years after that unforgettable day. This post (edited by Leanne Burden) shows the transformation, of what became known as Ground Zero, over the last ten years. A memorial rises from the ashes of that day on September 11, 2011. -- Paula Nelson (41 photos total)
Photos by Space Imaging’s IKONOS satellite showing the World Trade Center complex in Manhattan, New York, collected on June 30, 2001 showing the 110-stories twin towers; on September 15, 2001 showing the remains of the 1,350-foot (411.48-meter) twin towers of the World Trade Center, and the debris and dust that have settled in Ground Zero, four days after the terrorist attacks; and June 8, 2002, showing the progress in the reclamation of Ground Zero where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once stood. AFP/Space Imaging

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Joel Meyerowitz was the only photographer with regular access to Ground Zero in the weeks and months following 9/11. As part of our Commemorative 9/11 issue, TIME commissioned Meyerowitz to venture back to Ground Zero and document the rapid changes at the site since late 2010. Meyerowitz was able to reflect on and even re-photograph many of the locations in his seminal work, Aftermath: World Trade Center Archive.

To see TIME’s 9/11 Commemorative issue visit Beyond 9/11:Portraits of Resilience.

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Mario Tama / Getty Images

Tourists and onlookers view the World Trade Center site from the plaza of the Millenium Hilton Hotel on July 19, 2011 in New York City. The hotel is across the street from the World Trade Center and suffered significant damage in the 9-11 attacks. It was refurbished and reopened in May, 2003.

Mario Tama, a Getty Images photographer, was at home on the Lower East Side of Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001, when he got the call that something big was happening at the World Trade Center site. After grabbing his cameras and coming around the corner, Tama saw the huge hole in the north tower and immediately thought of war – a subject he hadn’t covered before. 

The events of 9/11 turned out to be Tama’s introduction to war photography, something he never wanted to do. Even after photographing Hurricane Katrina and the start of the Iraq War – two events with much human suffering – Tama says 9/11 is the “most shocking thing I’ve ever covered.”

So when Tama was asked to shoot a special series of photographs for the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, he understood the significance. But living and working in New York City, he’d been to the site so many times over the years (by his estimation at least 125 times), he felt he needed a new way look at it in order to reinvigorate his senses.

Mario Tama / Getty Images

During a blessing of the World Trade Center cross before it was moved into its permanent home at the 9/11 Memorial Museum on July 23, 2011 in New York City. The cross is an intersecting steel beam discovered in the World Trade Center rubble which served as symbol of spiritual recovery in the aftermath of 9/11.

Tama was looking for a different kind of camera to shoot with when he ran into another photojournalist, Craig Ruttle, who suggested he check out the Lomo camera known as the "Sprocket – Rocket." Manhattan is vertical, a city island of skyscrapers and vertical spaces. But Tama sees the former World Trade Center site as horizontal, as a crater, so the panoramic nature of the Lomo format seemed right to him.

Additionally, he felt that shooting on film, something he hadn’t done since before the attacks, would help bring him back in time. In particular, Tama would be using black and white film, which he thought would better connect the current location with its history. Tama vividly remembers the day of the attacks, but because of the dust covering everything, he sees that day in his mind's eye as essentially black and white. 

Over the last month or so, Tama went back to the site again and again with his Lomo and photographed it. He plans to continue going back there with his new camera until Sept. 11, and will be there on that day covering the memorial events.

Mario Tama / Getty Images

A couple embraces on the Hudson River waterfront with Lower Manhattan and the rising One World Trade Center in the background on July 6, 2011 in Jersey City, New Jersey.


Tama says he has been to Ground Zero so many times it often feels like "just another piece of real estate," which he characterizes as a "great thing" because it helps him cope. Still, he expects the approach of the anniversary to be heart-wrenching. But just knowing, he says, that people around the world care about what happened on 9/11 and can empathize what he and so many others are feeling will make it easier to complete his work.

More photos from Mario Tama's 9-11 project in our slideshow.

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Starring: Bern Cohen, Bob Angelini
Director: James Marsh

Summary: Director James Marsh chronicles the landmark experiment Project
Nim, which aimed to show the world that an ape could learn to communicate
through sign language, if raised and nurtured like a human child…

The Oscar-winning team behind Man on Wire do it again with Project Nim, the latest documentary by James Marsh - which is thankfully as slick, fascinating and heartfelt as everyone had hoped for. But unlike Man on Wire's extraordinary tale of triumph against the odds, Project Nim's plot takes an unflinching perspective of an animal removed from its mother and bounced around like an angry foster child in a cheap soap opera plot.

It's profoundly unsettling stuff and no doubt many a tear will be shed watching Nim's life ping pong around until the traumatic moment when his luxury life is exchanged for a brutal sanctuary and eventually an animal testing centre. That being said, the other side of the coin is fascinating, watching Nim grow and transform from everyday chimp to an animal capable of stringing sign language together is certainly riveting.

Like Man on Wire, Marsh chooses to use a selection of archive footage, stills, dramatic recreations and retrospective interviews to carefully jigsaws together a 90 minute slice of Nim Chimpsky's 26-year life. Undoubtedly there will be stones that have remained unturned in the films making, and I'm sure that the book of which the film is based could more eloquently explain such gaps, but thankfully Marsh's storytelling is extremely thorough in its delivery - and there's certainly no gaping plot holes left by the end of the film.

Unfortunately, there is one drawback to Project Nim which prevents the film from being just as powerful and extraordinary as Man on Wire, worse still it's unavoidable – lack of hope. There's no denying that Man on Wire was fascinating and could draw an audience in, but more importantly the story itself was inherently inspirational and the achievement of Philippe Petit manages to celebrate the very best of human capabilities. But for all the fascination of Nim's (apparent) abilities and the breathtaking story that Marsh weaves, there's no getting away from the fact that large portions of the film - and in particular the tail end - are particularly harrowing and unfortunately leave a sour taste.

Still, Project Nim is tremendously rich, full of diverse characters and dialogue that is hilarious, heartfelt and above all respectful to Nim's troubled existence. It may not have the same sense of uplifting accomplishment as Philippe Petit in Man on Wire, but Project Nim certainly deserves just as much attention as the former and tops the bill for 2011's best documentary with ease.

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