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The year 2011 brought us dramatic and unexpected images from some of the world’s major news events, including the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan, the violent end of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s rule and the humiliating tweet that ruined New York Representative Anthony Weiner’s career. But beyond the widely seen and iconic images that accompanied the year’s biggest events, like the death of Osama bin Laden and the shooting of Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords, were unusual, equally astonishing and startling images that rested at the periphery of the news. A cat with two faces, rail tracks buckled by the shifting earth after a quake in New Zealand, the police rescue of a girl held hostage by her father, a suicidal bride and beautiful, abstract images taken from space by an astronaut photographer — these are just a few of the compelling and surprising images to have emerged beyond the main news cycle this year. Here, LightBox looks back at a small selection of the underreported, improbable and astounding images that caught the attention of TIME’s photo editors.

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September marked ten years since the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The fighting continued in Libya as the rebels closed in on Gaddafi strongholds and Palestinian President Abbas made a bid for statehood recognition at the U.N. This selection of our top photos of the month includes these news stories alongside the ongoing Dale Farm case, New York fashion week and a giant vegetable contest. WARNING: Graphic content

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Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience, a portfolio of more than 30 photographs by Marco Grob, are on display at New York’s Milk Gallery. The black-and-white images first appeared in the September 19 edition of TIME, a special commemorative issue for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The photos, some measuring 60 in.-by-120 in., appear alongside videos of Valerie Plame, Donald Rumsfeld, James Yee and other participants from TIME’s issue, as part of the multimedia exhibit.

The Swiss photographer, who is based in New York, spent nine weeks traveling across the country for the portfolio, including stops in Dallas, Texas– where he photographed George W. Bush alongside Bob Beckwith, the firefighter who stood beside the President on his first visit to Ground Zero following the attacks—and New York City, where he captured the only four people to have survived from above the impact zone in the South Tower. The project broke new ground for Grob, as each subject was not only photographed, but interviewed and filmed in the same session. “For 25 years I’ve gotten the shot quickly and walked away. It stopped right there,” he said. “This time we did the shot, and people stayed and cried.” After each interview, Grob and his assistants often ended up in tears as well. “We had a hard time containing ourselves. To cry during the interview would have been unprofessional,” says Grob. “But in the editing, it was hard to handle our emotions.”

Seeing the portraits printed in a large format, where the details intensify some of the subjects’ fragile state of mind, was overwhelming for the photographer. Though Grob has since turned to other work—next week, he heads to Cambodia to begin a new project that will be a companion piece to his earlier photographs of Afghanistani land mine removal workers with the United Nations Mine Action Service—the photographer can’t quite leave the 9/11 portraits behind. “There’s so much still in my head,” says Grob. “I’m still digesting the stories.”

Kira Pollack

From left: Photographer Marco Grob and TIME's Deputy photo editor, Paul Moakley during the installation at Milk Gallery. Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience is on display from Sept. 22-Oct. 7 at the Milk Gallery, located at 450 West 15th St. in New York. The show’s opening reception will be Thursday September 22nd from 7-10 pm.

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This week; A man visits the graveside of his son—killed by Gaddafi loyalists—in Tripoli, three thousand flags commemorate the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, a plane flies through the “Tribute in Lights” in lower Manhattan. gas pipeline explosion in Nairobi, gunmen open fire on a school bus in Pakistan, Israeli embassy attack in Cairo, Brazilian forest fires, Damien Hirst’s sculpture Legend, New York fashion week, Novak Djokovic wins the U.S. Open, and the painted “Tiger Men” of India’s “Pulikali” Tiger Dance festival.

See last week’s Best Pictures of the Week.

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Americans remembered the horror of September 11, 2001, and the nearly 3,000 people who died in the hijacked plane attacks on New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Read the full story here and for related coverage click here.

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10 years ago, on Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists seized control of four airplanes and crashed them all, bringing down the World Trade Center towers and ripping a hole in the Pentagon.

Throughout this anniversary day, the editors at Photo Journal will be live blogging the memorial ceremonies and worldwide reactions through a curated series of photographs. The images are posted as they become available and do not necessarily represent the time they were taken. The historical photos you see are juxtaposed with images from today.

If you would like to send your own photos to us for possible inclusion in the blog, please email them to

8:45 pm | by WSJ Photo Editors

The Tribute in Lights is illuminated on the skyline of Lower Manhattan on the evening marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, September 11, 2011. (Gary Hershorn/Reuters)

5:29 pm | by WSJ Photo Editors

A New York City fireman returns to quarters in a firehouse at 48th Street and 8th Avenue after a 10th anniversary ceremony commemorating the 15 members of the New York City Fire Department, Ladder 4, Engine Company 54 who perished in the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. (Peter Foley/European Pressphoto Agency)

5:25 pm | by WSJ Photo Editors

Lifeguard Randy Dodd, right, and a fellow lifeguard attach a memorial  wreath to Dodd's surfboard during a memorial service on the tenth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks at Long Beach, Long Island, Sunday, September 11, 2011. Dodd and about 300 surfers took the wreath out to sea where they held a brief ceremony, forming a circle and joining hands, and placed the wreath in the water. Each surfer had an armband with the name of a Sept. 11 first responder from Long Island. A memorial mass was also held on the beach. The event was organized by The O'Keefe Foundation, named after Patrick O'Keefe, a firefighter who died in the attacks on Sept. 11. (Claudio Papapietro for The Wall Street Journal)

4:28 pm | by WSJ Photo Editors

A man wearing a fireman's hat stands while an American flag covers the field during a ceremony before a game between the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri on the tenth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. (Larry W. Smith/European Pressphoto Agency)


3:12 pm | by WSJ Photo Editors

Family members visit the Pentagon Memorial in Washington D.C. before ceremonies begin for the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. (Charles Dharapak/Associated Press)

3:04 pm | by WSJ Photo Editors

A U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant who asked that his name not be used, kneels near his father's name after a remembrance ceremony at the Garden of Reflection Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011 in Yardley, Pa. The memorial honors people from Pennsylvania that lost their lives in the attacks Sept. 11, 2001. (Alex Brandon/Associated Press)

1:49 pm | by WSJ Photo Editors

Marie Lucania, center right, clutches the hand of her granddaughter Julianna Santella, 9, during a memorial service on the tenth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks held at Lido Beach on Long Island, Sunday, September 11, 2011. Ms. Lucania lost her son, Charles Lucania, an electrician who worked at the towers. (Claudio Papapietro for The Wall Street Journal)

12:32 pm | by WSJ Photo Editors

Mahmoud Doust and Julieth Munoz sit on a bench at a sunrise ceremony in Battery Park. They traveled to New York from Washington D.C. to be here for the 10th Anniversary of terror attacks on the World Trade Center. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)

12:19 pm | by WSJ Photo Editors

A rider from the Ride 2 Recovery 9/11 Challenge walks through the Empty Sky memorial in Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J. on Sunday. (Joe Epstein/Associated Press)

11:50 am | by WSJ Photo Editors

100 dancers gathered around the Revson Fountain at Lincoln Center in New York on Sunday. (Philip Montgomery for The Wall Street Journal)

11:31 am | by WSJ Photo Editors

Police officers from the United Kingdom march across the Brooklyn Bridge on the morning of the 10 year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. (Philip Montgomery for The Wall Street Journal)

11:26 am | by WSJ Photo Editors

Top: A family member touches the names of loved ones at the north pool of the 9/11 Memorial during the tenth anniversary ceremonies at the site of the World Trade Center. (David Handschuh/Press Pool)

Bottom: People run from the collapsed World Trade Center towers. (Suzanne Plunkett/Associated Press)

11:10 am | by WSJ Photo Editors

Top: A woman mourns at the Flight 93 National Memorial on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, on September 11, 2011 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. (Kevin Dietsch/United Press International)

Bottom: Officials examine the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pa. (Scott Spangler, Tribune Review/Associated Press)

10:20 am | by WSJ Photo Editors

Top: Former first lady Laura Bush, from left, former President George W. Bush, first lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama hold hands to their hearts during the national anthem before a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the attacks in New York. (Jason DeCrow/Associated Press)

Bottom: The South Tower, left, begins to collapse. (Gulnara Samoilova/Associated Press)

9:52 am | by WSJ Photo Editors

Top: Soldiers from Task Force 3-66 Bravo Company of the 172 Infantry Brigade bow their heads during a prayer to remember the victims of 9/11 before a ceremony at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Kuschamond in Afghanistan. (Johannes Eisele/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

Bottom: A video still from a surveillance camera shows the impact after American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. (Associated Press)

9:27 am | by WSJ Photo Editors

Top: The 9/11 memorial ceremony is set to begin in New York. (Mladen Antonov/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

Bottom: United Airlines Flight 175 strikes the South Tower of the World Trade Center. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

9:04 am | by WSJ Photo Editors

Top: Frederick Meeks holds American flags in his hands as he stands at the World Trade Center site. (Eric Thayer/Reuters)

Bottom: Two men, identified by authorities as suspected hijackers Abdulaziz Alomari, left, and Mohamed Atta, right, pass through security at Portland International Jetport, Sept. 11, 2001, before flying to Boston where they boarded American Airlines Flight 11 that struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center. (Portland Police Department/Associated Press)

8:46 am | by WSJ Photo Editors

Robert Peraza, who lost his son Robert David Peraza, pauses at his son's name at the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial on September 11, 2011, in New York. (Justin Lane/Press Pool)

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TIME contract photographer Marco Grob shares an intimate look into the making of the portraits and oral history series that comprise Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience.  The project reveals the astonishing testimonies from over 40 men and women including George W. Bush, Tom Brokaw, General David Petraeus, Valerie Plame Wilson, Black Hawk helicopter pilot Tammy Duckworth, as well as the heroic first responders to Ground Zero. After looking into one of America’s greatest tragedies, Grob now shares his side of the story, and what it was like to be on the other side of the lens.

To visit TIME’s Beyond 9/11: A Portrait of Resilience, a project that chronicles 9/11 and its aftermath, click here. TIME: VOICES OF 9/11, a full length film of Grob’s work will be screened at Film Forum, located at 209 West Houston Street, New York, NY 10014. For more information go to their website by clicking here.

See more of Marco Grob’s work by clicking here.

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