Photos: A portrait of the 9/11 rescue workers

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9/11 Rescue Workers
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Photos: A portrait of the 9/11 rescue workers
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11: Hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Center and explodes at 9:03 a.m. on September 11, 2001 in New York City. The crash of two airliners hijacked by terrorists loyal to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and subsequent collapse of the twin towers killed some 2,800 people. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
394263 09: (PUERTO RICO OUT) A fireman runs as the World Trade Center crumbles after two planes hit the building September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Jose Jimenez/Primera Hora/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: Hijacked planes crash into the World Trade Center In New York, United States On September 11, 2001-Hijacked planes crash into the World Trade Center towers destroying both of them. (Photo by Michel SETBOUN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
394261 41: People evacuate the area around the World Trade Center after it was hit by two planes September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: (FRANCE OUT) Lower Manhattan and the World Trade Center after attack by terrorist hijacked airliners, which destroyed the Twin Towers and killed more than 3000 people in New York, United States on September 11, 2001(Photo by Alan CHIN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
A police officer helps a woman to a bus after she fled the area near the World Trade Center towers 11 September, 2001, in New York. Two planes crashed into each building and the tops of each tower later collapsed AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: (FRANCE OUT) Lower Manhattan and the World Trade Center after attack by terrorist hijacked airliners, which destroyed the Twin Towers and killed more than 3000 people in New York, United States on September 11, 2001(Photo by Alan CHIN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
A police officer (R) and others walk in the streets covered in debris near the World Trade Center towers 11 September, 2001, in New York. Two planes crashed into each building and the tops of each tower collapsed. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: (FRANCE OUT) Lower Manhattan and the World Trade Center after attack by terrorist hijacked airliners, which destroyed the Twin Towers and killed more than 3000 people in New York, United States on September 11, 2001(Photo by Alan CHIN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: (FRANCE OUT) Hijacked planes crash into the World Trade Center towers destroying both in New York, United States(Photo by Philippe FILION/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Rescue workers evacuate a man through rubble and debris after the collapse of one of the World Trade Center Towers 11 September, 2001 in New York. AFP PHOTO Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: Firefighter covered with ash after World Trade Center collapsed in terrorist attack. (Photo by Thomas Monaster/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: Firefighter covered with ash after World Trade Center collapsed in terrorist attack. (Photo by Thomas Monaster/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Destroyed mullions, the vertical struts which once faced the soaring outer walls of the World Trade Center towers, are the only things left standing behind a firefighter after a terrorist attack on the twin towers in lower Manhattan Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. The 110-story towers collapsed in a shower of rubble and dust after two hijacked airliners slammed into them. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Firefighters work beneath the destroyed mullions, the vertical struts, of the World Trade Center's twin towers after a terrorist attack in New York Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. As workers cleared some of the rubble, new crews of firefighters and rescue workers charged into the devastation with shovels, pickaxes and flashlights to look for bodies or survivors. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Firefighters search through the rubble of the twin towers at the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan 11 September, 2001, in New York after two planes flew into the buildings. A New York city firefighters' union reported that 200 firefighters died in the collapse. AFP PHOTO Doug KANTER (Photo credit should read DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images)
Firefighters take a break at the remains of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan 11 September, 2001, in New York after two planes controlled by hijackers flew into the buildings. A New York city firefighters' union reported that 200 firefighters died in the collapse. AFP PHOTO Doug KANTER (Photo credit should read DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images)
An ambulance, covered with debris, is on fire after the collapse of the first World Trade Center Tower 11 September, 2001 in New York. Two hijacked passenger planes were crashed against the twin towers causing the collapsed of both buildings. AFP PHOTO Doug KANTER (Photo credit should read DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images)
A man with a fire extinguisher walks through rubble after the collapse of the first World Trade Center Tower 11 September, 2001, in New York. The man was shouting as he walked looking for victims who needed assistance. Both towers collapsed after being hit by hijacked passengers planes. AFP PHOTO Doug KANTER (Photo credit should read DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: Hijacked planes crash into the World Trade Center In New York, United States On September 11, 2001-Hijacked planes crash into the World Trade Center towers destroying both of them. (Photo by Michel SETBOUN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
A firefighter walks through rubble of the twin towers of the World Trade Center as a US flag hangs from a traffic light post 11 September, 2001, in New York. Two planes controlled by hijackers crashed into the buildings, destroying both. AFP PHOTO Doug KANTER (Photo credit should read DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images)
A firefighter walks through rubble of the twin towers of the World Trade Center as a US flag hangs from a traffic light post 11 September, 2001, in New York. Two planes controlled by hijackers crashed into the buildings, destroying both. AFP PHOTO Doug KANTER (Photo credit should read DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images)
394277 02: New York City firefighters hug each other during rescue operations at the World Trade Center after two hijacked planes crashed into the Twin Towers September 11, 2001 in New York. (Photo by Ron Agam/Getty Images)
394277 01: New York City firefighters rest during rescue operations at the World Trade Center after two hijacked planes crashed into the Twin Towers September 11, 2001 in New York. (Photo by Ron Agam/Getty Images)
394273 12: An emergency worker takes a break from the rescue effort after the World Trade Center's twin towers collapsed after being struck by commerical airliners in a suspected terrorist attack September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
394277 20: New York City firefighters work at the World Trade Center after two hijacked planes crashed into the Twin Towers September 11, 2001 in New York. (Photo by Ron Agam/Getty Images)
394277 18: New York City firefighters work at the World Trade Center after two hijacked planes crashed into the Twin Towers September 11, 2001 in New York. (Photo by Ron Agam/Getty Images)
394277 17: A New York City police officer talks on a phone at the World Trade Center after two hijacked planes crashed into the Twin Towers September 11, 2001 in New York. (Photo by Ron Agam/Getty Images)
394277 16: New York City firefighters work at the World Trade Center after two hijacked planes crashed into the Twin Towers September 11, 2001 in New York. (Photo by Ron Agam/Getty Images)
394277 15: New York City firefighters and a photojournalist work at the World Trade Center after two hijacked planes crashed into the Twin Towers September 11, 2001 in New York. (Photo by Ron Agam/Getty Images)
394277 14: New York City firefighters take a rest at the World Trade Center after two hijacked planes crashed into the Twin Towers September 11, 2001 in New York. (Photo by Ron Agam/Getty Images)
An exausted police officer rests on a car covered in dust near the World Trade Center 11 September 2001 in New York as people board a bus to be evacuated after two hijacked planes crashed into the landmark towers. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH AFP STORIES 'US-ATTACKS-5YEARS' (FILES) Photo dated 11 September 2001 shows firemen make their way through rubble and debris after the collapse of one of the World Trade Center Towers in New York. The fifth anniversary of September 11 finds the United States bloodied by foreign war, polarized politically and coping with terrorism's curbs on freedom which helped define American life. AFP PHOTO/FILES/Stan HONDA **MORE PICTURES AVAILABLE ON WWW.IMAGEFORUM2.AFP.COM** (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
A firefighter walks through rubble of the twin towers of the World Trade Center as a US flag hangs from a traffic light post 11 September, 2001, in New York. Two planes controlled by hijackers crashed into the buildings, destroying both. AFP PHOTO Doug KANTER (Photo credit should read DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: (FRANCE OUT) Lower Manhattan and the World Trade Center after attack by terrorist hijacked airliners, which destroyed the Twin Towers and killed more than 3000 people in New York, United States on September 11, 2001(Photo by Alan CHIN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: (FRANCE OUT) Terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York, United States on September 11, 2001(Photo by Justin LANE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: (FRANCE OUT) New York City Firefighter after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York, United States on September 11, 2001(Photo by Alex CAMACHO/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Firefighter walks through the rubble of the World Trade Center after it was struck by a commercial airliner in a terrorist attack. A hijacked American Airlines Boeing 767, originating from Boston's Logan Airport, struck 1 World Trade Center (north tower) at 8:45 a.m. At 9:03 a.m., a United Airlines 767, also hijacked in Boston, crashed into 2 World Trade Center (south tower).The second tower came down 39 minutes after the first. (Photo By: Todd Maisel/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: NOTE: Firefighters pull survivors from the rubble of the World Trade Center after it was struck by a commercial airliner in a terrorist attack. A hijacked American Airlines Boeing 767, originating from Boston's Logan Airport struck, 1 World Trade Center (north tower) at 8:45 am. At 9:03 am, an United Airlines 767, also skyjacked, crashed into 2 World Trade Center (south tower). The second tower came down 39 minutes after the first. (Photo by Todd Maisel/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: Firefighters look for survivors in the rubble of the World Trade Center after it was struck by a commercial airliner in a terrorist attack. A hijacked American Airlines Boeing 767, originating from Boston's Logan Airport struck, 1 World Trade Center (north tower) at 8:45 am. At 9:03 am, an United Airlines 767, also skyjacked, crashed into 2 World Trade Center (south tower). The second tower came down 39 minutes after the first. (Photo by Todd Maisel/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: NOTE: This photo is not available to U.S. magazines until Sept. 15. U.S. newspapers and international magazines can obtain high resolution images by calling 1-877-PIX-SALE., Firefighters look for survivors in the rubble of the World Trade Center after it was struck by a commercial airliner in a terrorist attack. A hijacked American Airlines Boeing 767, originating from Boston's Logan Airport struck, 1 World Trade Center (north tower) at 8:45 am. At 9:03 am, an United Airlines 767, also skyjacked, crashed into 2 World Trade Center (south tower). The second tower came down 39 minutes after the first. (Photo by Todd Maisel/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: Firefighters look for survivors in the rubble of the World Trade Center after it was struck by a commercial airliner in a terrorist attack. A hijacked American Airlines Boeing 767, originating from Boston's Logan Airport struck, 1 World Trade Center (north tower) at 8:45 am. At 9:03 am, an United Airlines 767, also skyjacked, crashed into 2 World Trade Center (south tower). The second tower came down 39 minutes after the first. (Photo by Todd Maisel/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: NOTE: This photo is not available to U.S. magazines until Sept. 15. U.S. newspapers and international magazines can obtain high resolution images by calling 1-877-PIX-SALE., Emergency workers tend to an injured firefighter amidst the rubble in the aftermath of a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. A hijacked American Airlines Boeing 767, originating from Boston's Logan Airport, struck 1 World Trade Center (north tower) at 8:45 am. At 9:03 am, an United Airlines 767, also skyjacked, crashed into 2 World Trade Center (south tower). Both towers later collapsed. (Photo by Todd Maisel/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: NOTE: This photo is not available to U.S. magazines until Sept. 15. U.S. newspapers and international magazines can obtain high resolution images by calling 1-877-PIX-SALE., Firefighters arrive at the scene as the World Trade Center was struck in a terrorist attack. A hijacked American Airlines Boeing 767, originating from Boston's Logan Airport, struck 1 World Trade Center (north tower) at 8:45 am. At 9:03 am, an United Airlines 767, also skyjacked, crashed into 2 World Trade Center (south tower). Both towers later collapsed. (Photo by David Handschuh/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: New York Daily News staff photographer David Handschuh is carried from site after his leg was shattered by falling debris while photographing the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. , (Photo by Todd Maisel/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: New York Daily News staff photographer David Handschuh is carried from site after his leg was shattered by falling debris while photographing the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. , (Photo by Todd Maisel/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: Firefighters search through the rubble of the World Trade Center after it was struck by a commercial airliner in a terrorist attack. A hijacked American Airlines Boeing 767, originating from Boston's Logan Airport, struck 1 World Trade Center (north tower) at 8:45 a.m. At 9:03 a.m., a United Airlines 767, also hijacked in Boston, crashed into 2 World Trade Center (south tower).The second tower came down 39 minutes after the first., (Photo by Todd Maisel/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: Firefighters on the scene after terrorist attack at World Trade Center. (Photo by Thomas Monaster/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: Exhausted firemen take a much needed rest on Broadway during the search for survivors after terrorist attack at World Trade Center., (Photo by Corey Sipkin/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
A victim being helped by other pedestrians at the scene of the World Trade Center terrorist attack. (Photo by Jennifer S. Altman/WireImage) *** Local Caption ***
A victim being attended to by EMS workers and other bystanders in the area of the World Trade Center attack. (Photo by Jennifer S. Altman/WireImage) *** Local Caption ***
Rescue Crews walk toward the wreckage of the World Trade Center the day after the terrorist attack. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Weary firefighter at scene of World Trade Center terrorist attack. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Rescue workers walk away from the wreckage of the World Trade Center the day after the terrorist attack. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Weary firefighter at scene of World Trade Center terrorist attack. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY - SEPTEMBER 11: People run from lower Manhattan after the World Trade Center was hit by planes in a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by David Handschuh/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11: An unidentified New York City firefighter walks away from Ground Zero after the collapse of the Twin Towers September 11, 2001 in New York City. The World Trade Center's Twin Towers and the Pentagon were attacked by terrorists using commercial airliners as missiles. (Photo by Anthony Correia/Getty Images)
394263 03: (PUERTO RICO OUT) A paramedic and a policemen breath oxygen after the first tower of the the Twin Towers crumbled down after two planes hit the World Trade Center September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Jose Jimenez/Primera Hora/Getty Images)
394263 02: (PUERTO RICO OUT) A paramedic and police officers walk away from the World Trade Center after one of the Twin Towers crumbled after two planes crashed into the buildings September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Jose Jimenez/Primera Hora/Getty Images)
Stunned woman fleeing the scene of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. (Photo by Jennifer S. Altman/WireImage) *** Local Caption ***
Woman rescued by emergency personnel After World Trade Center suffered a terrorist attack. (Photo by Jennifer S. Altman/WireImage) *** Local Caption ***
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: People covered with ash after World Trade Center collapsed in terrorist attack. (Photo by Thomas Monaster/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: World Trade Center collapses - the aftermath of a terrorist attack. A hijacked American Airlines Boeing 767, originating from Boston's Logan Airport, struck 1 World Trade Center (north tower) at 8:45 a.m. At 9:03 a.m., a United Airlines 767, also hijacked in Boston, crashed into 2 World Trade Center (south tower)., late afternoon at World Trade Center disaster. Firemen explore rubble at ground zero., (Photo by Corey Sipkin/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Rescue Crews work in the wreckage of the 7 World Trade Center the day after the terrorist attack. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
James Zaninno of the Irvington New Jersey fire department rests near the World Trade Center after the terrorist attack. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Police vehicle at the scene of the 9/11/01 World Trade Center terrorist attack in New York City. (Photo by Gene Shaw/Timepix/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
Firefighter walking away from ruins at 7 World Trade Center after the 9/11/01 attack. (Photo by Gene Shaw/Timepix/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
Rescue workers taking a break at the scene of the 9/11/01 World Trade Center terrorist attack. (Photo by Gene Shaw/Timepix/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
Police bringing rescue dogs to search for survivors of the 9/11/01 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York. (Photo by Gene Shaw/Timepix/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 12: (FRANCE OUT) Rescue operations at Ground Zero; Firefighters search for survivors at the wreckage of the World Trade Center Towers following Tuesday's Terrorist attack in New York, United States on September 12, 2001(Photo by GIFFORD PORTER/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 12: (FRANCE OUT) Rescue workers raise the broadcast antenna which topped Tower One before it was brought down by the terrorist attack in New York, United States on September 12, 2001(Photo by Steve LOPEZ/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Rescue worker (R) putting life vest on teddy bear at the site of the 9/11/01 World Trade Center terrorist attack attack. (Photo by Gene Shaw/Timepix/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
394785 04: A firefighter walks away from the scene of the World Trade Center disaster September 13, 2001 in New York's financial district. (Photo by Jim Watson/US Navy/Getty Images)
394392 16: Rescue workers dig in the wreckage of the World Trade Center September 13, 2001 in New York City, two days after two hijacked airplanes slammed into the twin towers, levelling them in an alleged terrorist attack. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
394375 11: New York City police officers gather at the wreckage of the World Trade Center September 13, 2001 in New York City, two days after the twin towers were destroyed when two hit by two hijacked passenger jets. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
Firefighters continuing the rescue effort at Ground Zero of World Trade Center after terrorist attacks collapsed both towers. (Photo by Jiri Boudnik/J. A. Jones Construction/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
Rescue worker sifting through debris at Ground Zero of World Trade Center after terrorist attacks collapsed both towers. (Photo by Jiri Boudnik/J. A. Jones Construction/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 13: Rescuers work to free a victim from under the rubble at the site of the World Trade Center, demolished in a terrorist attack. (Photo by James Keivom/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 13: NOTE: This photo is not available to U.S. magazines until Sept. 15. U.S. newspapers and international magazines can obtain high resolution images by calling 1-877-PIX-SALE., Rescue workers face a surreal scene of massive destruction as the search goes on for victim's of Tuesday's terrorist attack that brought down the twin towers of the World Trade Center. (Photo by Howard Earl Simmons/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
394563 17: Rescue workers attend to their work at the site of the World Trade Center terrorist attack September 14, 2001 in New York City. (Pool photo courtesy of NYC Office Of Emergency Management/Getty Images)
394558 09: Retired Fire Chief Joseph Curry barks orders to rescue teams as they clear through debris that was once the World Trade Center September 14, 2001 in New York City. (U.S. Navy Photo by Jim Watson/Getty Images)
394558 08: New York City firemen walk past the American flag as they work their way toward the heart of the devastation that was once the World Trade Center September 14, 2001 in New York City. (U.S. Navy Photo by Jim Watson/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 14: (FRANCE OUT) World Trade Center Attack, bodies of victims removed from the disaster site in New York, United States on September 14, 2001(Photo by Graham MORRISON/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: Rescue workers wait for their orders near the base of the World Trade Center as search efforts continue 12 September, 2001 in New York. Both towers of the World Trade Center collapsed after hijacked airliners collided with them 11 September. AFP PHOTO Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 14: (FRANCE OUT) On September 14, 2001, in New York United States, President George Bush comforts New York City Fire Dept Lt Lenard Phelan of Battalion 46, whose brother, Lt Kenneth Phelan of Battalion 32, is among the 300 members of the FDNY still unaccounted for from Tuesday's terrorist attacks on the on the World Trade Center(Photo by 8393/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Rescue operations at destroyed World Trade Center after two hijacked U.S. commercial planes slammed into the Twin Towers causing both 110- story landmarks to collapse. (Photo by Kevin Hennings/Timepix/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
A fireman holds his face in his hands in the debris of the World Trade Center in New York, 12 September, 2001. Rescue workers are attempting to find survivors of the World Trade Center buildings which collapsed after hijacked airplanes collided with each of the towers. AFP PHOTO/Marcos TOWNSEND (Photo credit should read MARCOS TOWNSEND/AFP/Getty Images)
Firemen stand in front of the debris of the World Trade Center in New York, 12 September, 2001. Rescue workers are attempting to find survivors of the World Trade Center buildings which collapsed after hijacked airplanes collided with each of the towers. AFP PHOTO/Marcos TOWNSEND (Photo credit should read MARCOS TOWNSEND/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 12: NOTE: This photo is not available to U.S. magazines until Sept. 15. U.S. newspapers and international magazines can obtain high resolution images by calling 1-877-PIX-SALE., Firefighters and construction workers pick through the rubble in search of survivors as rescue work continues on the day after terrorists crashed two hijacked airliners into both towers of the World Trade Center. The twin towers, a city landmark for 25 years, later crumpled to the ground. (Photo by Todd Maisel/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Police search through rubble with dogs at the World Trade Center tower collapse site in New York, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2001. (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)
Bill Fennelly, a volunteer firefighter from Baldwin, N.Y., pauses for a moment at the World Trade Center collapse in New York, Thursday morning, Sept. 13, 2001. (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)
MANHATTAN - SEPTEMBER 12: Rescue workers remove rubble at the World Trade Center collapse. (Photo by Dominic Chavez/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
MANHATTAN - SEPTEMBER 12: David Meuse from Salem, Mass., working for the Federal Emergency Management Agency as part of the rescue workers looking for victims in the rubble of the World Trade Center collapse. (Photo by Dominic Chavez/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: Police officer Mike Brennan helps a distraught woman known only as Beverly, as ash and debris cover the area following the collapse of 1 World Trade Center (north tower) - the aftermath of a terrorist attack. 2 World Trade Center came came crashing down 39 minutes later. A hijacked American Airlines Boeing 767, originating from Boston's Logan Airport, struck 1 World Trade Center (north tower) at 8:45 a.m. At 9:03 a.m., a United Airlines 767, also hijacked in Boston, crashed into 2 World Trade Center (south tower)., debris collapse survivor reaction (Photo by Corey Sipkin/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: United States Secret Service Agent Thomas Armas, carries an injured woman to an ambulance after Tower One of World Trade center collapsed., rescue victim collapse (Photo by Thomas Monaster/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
394261 33: ( NEWSWEEK, US NEWS, GERMANY OUT) Police escort a civilian from the scene of the collapse of a tower of the World Trade Center September 11, 2001 in New York City after two airplanes slammed into the twin towers in an alleged terrorist attack. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
394261 28: NEWSWEEK, US NEWS, GERMANY OUT Police escort a civilian from the scene of the collapse of a tower of the World Trade Center September 11, 2001 in New York City after two airplanes slammed into the twin towers in an alleged terrorist attack. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Firefighters search through the rubble of the twin towers at the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan 11 September, 2001, in New York after two planes flew into the buildings. A New York city firefighters' union reported that 200 firefighters died in the collapse. AFP PHOTO Doug KANTER (Photo credit should read DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images)
An emergency worker treats a victim near the World Trade Center in New York after terrorists crashed two airliners into the twin 110-story towers Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. Both towers collapsed following the crashes. (AP/Photo/Amy Sancetta)
A police officer runs as the north tower of the World Trade Center collapses on September 11, 2001 in New York City. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)
Police officers rush to help after terrorists crashed two planes into the World Trade Center on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. In a horrific sequence of destruction, terrorists hijacked two airliners and crashed them into the World Trade Center in a coordinated series of attacks that brought down the twin 110-story towers. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)
Firefighters walk through the rubble in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.(AP Photo/Shawn Baldwin)
Firefighters walk through the rubble in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.(AP Photo/Shawn Baldwin)
Rescue workers gather supplies as they search through the rubble in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.(AP Photo/Shawn Baldwin)
A firefighter walks through the rubble in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.(AP Photo/Shawn Baldwin)
A firefighter holds a shovel as he walks through the rubble in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.(AP Photo/Shawn Baldwin)
Emergency workers attend to an injured man outside the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001 following a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano)
394263 15: (PUERTO RICO OUT) Policemen and firemen run away from the huge dust cloud caused as the World Trade Center's Tower One collapses after terrorists crashed two hijacked planes into the twin towers, September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Jose Jimenez/Primera Hora/Getty Images)
394261 79: Firefighters watch as smoke rises from the site of the World Trade Center collapse September 11, 2001 in New York City after two hijacked airplanes crashed into the twin towers in a terrorist attack. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
A fireman is removed on a stretcher from the scene of the colapsed World Trade Center. Streets of lower Manhattan with fireman, police, and rescue crews after the collapse of the World Trade Center after being hit by two airplanes on September 11, 2001. photo by Gabe Palacio/ImageDirect
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: Capt. Michael Dugan hangs an American flag from a light pole in front of what is left of the World Trade Center after it was destroyed in a terrorist attack. A hijacked American Airlines Boeing 767, originating from Boston's Logan Airport, struck 1 World Trade Center (north tower) at 8:45 am. At 9:03 am, an United Airlines 767, also skyjacked, crashed into 2 World Trade Center (south tower). Both towers later collapsed. (Photo by Andrew Savulich/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11: An unidentified New York City firefighter walks away from Ground Zero after the collapse of the Twin Towers September 11, 2001 in New York City. The World Trade Center's Twin Towers and the Pentagon were attacked by terrorists using commercial airliners as missiles. (Photo by Anthony Correia/Getty Images)
394304 02: (GERMANY OUT/NEWSWEEK OUT/US NEWS&WORLD REPORT OUT) A victim of the World Trade Center attack is tended to by paramedics Septemeber 11, 2001 en route to the hospital in New York City. (Photo by Carolyn Schaefer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - SEPTEMBER 11: New York Daily News staff photographer David Handschuh is carried from site after his leg was shattered by falling debris while he was photographing the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Todd Maisel/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
394392 23: A rescue worker searches for victims in the wreckage of the World Trade Center September 13, 2001 in New York City. Rescue efforts continued two days after two airplanes slammed into the twin towers in an alleged terrorist attack, levelling them. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
394558 06: A New York City fireman calls for 10 more rescue workers to make their way into the rubble of the World Trade Center September 14, 2001 days after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. (U.S. Navy Photo by Jim Watson/Getty Images)
394558 10: A fire fighter emerges from the smoke and debris that was once the World Trade Center September 14, 2001 in New York City. (U.S. Navy Photo by Jim Watson/Getty Images)
New York City firefighters and a police officer sift through debris from the collapsed World Trade Center by hand at ground zero Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2001, in New York. Workers continued the recovery effort on Christmas Day. (AP Photo/Chad Rachman)
A lone fire engine sits, in New York, on Sept. 16, 2001, amidst the rubble where the World Trade Center collapsed following the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. Surrounding buildings were heavily damaged by the debris and massive force of the falling twin towers. Clean-up efforts are expected to continue for months. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy , Chief Photographer's Mate Eric J. TIlford)
Police officers help rinse a man's eyes after the fall of the twin towers on September 11, 2001 in New York City.(AP Photo/Shawn Baldwin)
Emergency crews survey the damage after the fall of the twin towers on September 11, 2001 in New York City.(AP Photo/Shawn Baldwin)
Emergency crews survey the damage after the fall of the twin towers on September 11, 2001 in New York City.(AP Photo/Shawn Baldwin)
An injured firefighter is given medical attention after the fall of the twin towers on September 11, 2001 in New York City.(AP Photo/Shawn Baldwin)
Emergency crews arrive after the fall of the twin towers on September 11, 2001 in New York City.(AP Photo/Shawn Baldwin)
A man is consoled after the north tower fell during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center's twin towers in New York City.(AP Photo/Louis Lanzano)
FILE- In this Sept. 11, 2001 file photo, a shell of what was once part of the facade of one of the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center rises above the rubble that remains after both towers were destroyed in the terrorist attacks. A decade’s worth of study has answered only a handful of questions about the hundreds of health conditions believed to be related to the tons of gray dust that fell on the city when the trade center collapsed, from post-traumatic stress disorder, asthma and respiratory illness to vitamin deficiencies, strange rashes and cancer. (AP Photo/Shawn Baldwin, File)
394392 07: A firefighter is pulled from the rubble of the World Trade Center September 13, 2001 in New York City after falling during rescue efforts two days after two hijacked airplanes slammed into the twin towers, levelling them. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
394392 14: A sign is posted on a statue near the wreckage of the World Trade Center September 13, 2001 in New York City, two days after two hijacked airplanes slammed into the twin towers, levelling them in an alleged terrorist attack. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
A fireman's helmet with an American flag in it on Sept. 15, 2001 after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City.(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: Firefighters walk in debris after collapse of World Trade Center in terrorist attack. , firefighter debris (Photo by Thomas Monaster/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Ground Zero, New York City, N.Y. (Sept. 16, 2001) -- A lone fire engine at the crime scene in Manhattan where the World Trade Center collapsed following the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. Surrounding buildings were heavily damaged by the debris and massive force of the falling twin towers. Clean-up efforts are expected to continue for months. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Photographer's Mate Eric J. TIlford. (RELEASED)
WTC 9/11
010914-N-1350W-006 New York, N.Y. (Sep. 14, 2001) -- While working around the clock to find survivors, a rescue worker takes a moment to reflect on the impact of the devastating terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. It was an emotional time for the rescue workers because many of them had lost co-workers and friends in the dayÕs devastation. The World Trade Center was destroyed during a Sep. 11, 2001 terrorist attack. U.S. Navy photo by PhotographerÕs Mate 2nd Class Jim Watson. (RELEASED)
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[Warning: Some photos may be considered disturbing to some.]

By Eric Sandler

"Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children." - Former President George W. Bush

Thirteen years after the tragic events of September 11, 2001 it seems nearly unfathomable to think that such an act could have even occurred on U.S. soil -- and in New York City nonetheless.

As we reflect back on those lost both on that dark day and as a result of the ensuing battles against terrorists abroad, we must also remember the selfless rescue workers, firefighters, police officers, EMTs, military personnel, and all others who rushed to the aid of the trapped, wounded and stunned victims of terror in the Twin Towers on September 11th. The heart-wrenching photos above paint a portrait of self-sacrificing heroes who rushed into the unknown as all others rushed out -- today we commemorate them.

More on AOL.com:
'Pilgrimage: Looking at Ground Zero': Photographer shares how he documented the days after 9/11
Timeline of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on US homeland
World Trade Center complex on way to completion
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