Fifteen years later, the human toll from the World Trade Center attacks remains shocking: 2,753 victims. There were other victims that day. The 9/11 Commission report issued in 2004 reported that “125 died at the Pentagon; 256 died on the four planes.” The death toll surpassed that at Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

People who survived the Trade Center attack and other New Yorkers streamed out of the city that day, but it’s hard to keep New Yorkers down.

On the 15th anniversary of that dark day, ThinkAdvisor remembers the victims and first responders. But we also celebrate the rebirth of a section of Manhattan that was devastated by 9/11. In the pictures that follow, many taken by ALM art directors and photograpers, we present how that area of lower Manhattan looked after the attack, and how it looks today. Remembrance and rebirth.

 

DESTRUCTION

(Photo credit: Rick Kopstein)
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, two jets slammed into World Trade Center towers, as another plane hit the Pentagon and a fourth plane, United 93, crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Rick Kopstein)

(Photo credit: Courtesy of the U.S. Navy)The remains of one of the towers at what became known as Ground Zero. (Photo credit: Courtesy of the U.S. Navy)

(Photo credit: Monica Bay)It wasn’t just the Twin Towers that were destroyed or damaged in the September 11 attack. The damage spread for blocks around the former World Trade Center site. (Photo credit: Monica Bay)

(Photo credit: Rick Kopstein)Plagued by political infighting and cost overruns, it took years to rebuild lower Manhattan around the World Trade Center site. Here is a view looking west from where the Twin Towers stood to what was then called the World Financial Center, where many financial services firms had and have offices. The complex, across West Street heading toward Battery Park City, is now called Brookfield Place. (Photo credit: Rick Kopstein) 

(Photo credit: Rick Kopstein)Following the attack, first responders from across New York, the tri-state area, the nation and the world rushed to participate in the search effort, which quickly became a recovery effort. One of those who responded rests with his canine colleague near Ground Zero. More than 100 K-9 dogs worked at Ground Zero; the last of them–Bretagne, a 16 year-old golden retriever from Texas–died in June 2016. (Photo credit: John Disney)

 

CONSTRUCTION

(Photo credit: Rick Kopstein)One of the construction pits at Ground Zero. (Photo credit: Rick Kopstein)

(Photo credit: Rick Kopstein)(Photo credit: Rick Kopstein)

(Photo credit: John Disney)

 (Photo credit: John Disney)

 

RESURRECTION

(Photo credit: Rick Kopstein)Set within the footprints of the pre-9/11 Twin Towers is now The Memorial Plaza, a place of remembrance and repose, featuring the World Trade Center Memorial museum, two memorial fountains/reflecting pools and hundreds of swamp white oak trees harvested within a 500-mile radius of the Trade Center site. (Photo credit: Rick Kopstein)

(Photo credit: John Disney)Featuring 104 floors and standing 1,776 feet tall, One World Trade Center opened in October 2014. It is the tallest building in the Western hemisphere. Like the Twin Towers before it, One WTC features breath-taking views from its higher floors of all of Manhattan, along with a sky lobby on the 64th floor. (Photo credit: John Disney)

(Photo credit: Jason Doiy)
A view of One World Trade Center as seen from the east, looking over the wings of Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava’s ‘bird-in-flght’ Oculus, which cost a total of $3.9 billion. (Photo credit: Jason Doiy)

(Photo credit: istockphoto/mizoula)
Before 9/11, travelers from New Jersey arrived at the PATH mass transit station at the World Trade Center. Demolished in the attack, a temporary PATH station reopened in 2003, and just this summer the station became part of the World Trade Center Transportation hub, featuring the Oculus (pictured). Calatrava’s design features an airy, cathedral-like center with white marble floors, surrounded on two sides by a shopping mall. On the other two sides are the entrance to the PATH station and to the MTA’s Fulton Street subway station. Thousands of commuters rush through the space daily, while tourists and shoppers leisurely look around, and up. (Photo credit: istockphoto/mizoula)

(Photo credit: John Disney)Looking north at WTC 1 with Brookfield Place, formerly The World Financial Center, to the left. (Photo credit: John Disney)

(Photo credit: John Disney)Surrounded by a grove of hundreds of trees stand the two memorial fountains which despite their massive size emit an intimate and serene rush of water which attracts solemn visitors from around the world. (Photo credit: John Disney)

(Photo credit: Jason Doiy)On the walls around the two remembrance fountains are the names of those who perished in the Trade Center attack. Carved into waist-high tilted walls, the names are easily viewed by visitors. Tucked into crevices around the names can often be found single flowers left by visitors in memory of those who died. (Photo credit: Jason Doiy)

— For additional coverage of the 15th anniversary of the terror attacks and the rebirth of the Ground Zero neighborhood, we invite you to watch and read the following articles and videos.

We also invite you to leave your own flowers in the forms of comments and remembrances.

Our Remembering September 11 landing page features:

9/11 Commission Chairs Call for New Effort to Combat Terrorist Ideology

Our poignant Remembering September 11 video reminiscences by the leaders of our 2016
Broker-Dealers of the Year:

  • Lon Dolber, whose firm began operations on September 11, 2001
  • Eric Schwartz, whose firm is based in Iowa but for that day felt like a New Yorker
  • Brian Murphy, who found himself in work and home limbo, and
  • Ralph DeVito, who relates his emotional response to a family visit to the rebuilt Trade Center site.