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Scenes from A Show

Aug 26

In Friends, News at 7:12am

We set up the show on Tuesday night. When you need to get something done, it’s always good to have FDNY on your side. Louie Cacchioli rallied the guys, and over 25 firefighters showed up and worked tirelessly from 9pm through till 3am to get this in place for the Wednesday opening press reception. Pushing these frames around, many of which are close to 300 lbs., more than once I was like, “Why’d I have to shoot ’em so big?”

I was just humbled, really, by the selfless way these guys, many of whom came from way out of town, just pitched in and got this done. My thanks also go out to Related, the owners of the building, which worked with me to allow this to happen. If we had to actually hire shippers and handlers to move it around, it simply would never get done because of the enormous cost. Louie, seen below, has been the face of the show since the book came out in 2002, and he ended up on the cover. I always tell people he’s firefighting’s answer to Robert DeNiro. He’s always been there to help.

It also would never have gotten done, were it not for the tireless efforts of Ellen Price, who has worked with the collection for almost 10 years. Her labors are done behind the scenes, organizing, cataloging, making sure it has been stored properly (24,000 lbs. of photography in museum quality, monitored storage!) and working with the 911 Museum to arrange for its’ eventual home. Below, Ellen works with the guys.

So it got done. It will be on floor of the Time Warner Center, free and open to the public, from 10am to 9pm every day until Sept. 12. After that, we’ll see what happens. More on that tk.

We had lots of press at the opening, and a bunch of subjects from the original project also graciously came. Below, Bill Butler speaks eloquently about the events of 911.

More than 75,000 people a day transit the TW Center. Which means that close to a million people will pass by these over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully, they’ll stop for a moment, and remember.

(all video shot on Nikon D7000’s by Drew Gurian, Michael Cali, Mike Grippi and Lynda Peckham)

More tk…

Teymur Madjderey says:

on August 26, 2011 at 7:16 am

very exciting! cant wait to see more!

Tim Shahady says:

on August 26, 2011 at 7:22 am

I was at the TW Center last night to see the images, and what images they are! This exhibition is such an amazing tribute to the people that worked so tirelessly in those days and weeks after 9-11. Your images are a reminder of the strength of the human spirit and the power of an image. Thanks

david says:

on August 26, 2011 at 7:48 am

Great stuff, Joe. As we say on Remembrance Day (Canadian version of Memorial Day?), “Lest we forget”

Andor says:

on August 26, 2011 at 8:10 am

Wish I could be there to see those photos with my own eyes!
And yes – again a nice example of firefighters being so different kind of people: in all the best meaning of ‘different’.
Nice tribute to them.

Jennifer Farris says:

on August 26, 2011 at 8:27 am

Oh, how I wish I could go. This would be an amazing exhibit to visit. I’ll have to live vicariously through these comments and blogs.

Ed Roper says:

on August 26, 2011 at 8:48 am

Thanks for doing all this Joe. Growing up in the shadow of NYC, having a former firefighter as a father, and looking up to the NYFD, 9/11 was a deep punch in the gut. But this honors the memory of the fallen and the heroism of those who survived in a wonderful way.

Paul Foley says:

on August 26, 2011 at 8:52 am


No matter how famous or accomplished a person may be, when they put their work (and heart and soul) on display it’s always a big deal. Many congratulations to you.

Even though I was on the other side of the world and another day away, September 11, 2001 was very real to me as I saw it unfold.

Your pictures, the effort to make them and the effort required to keep and preserve them are magnificent. Almost as magnificent as the people you photographed and their colleagues and families.

Job (very) well done


Debra says:

on August 26, 2011 at 8:59 am

Thank you for making them big Joe. Life size portraits of bigger than life hero’s. I will make the trip east to see them.

Don says:

on August 26, 2011 at 9:13 am

Looks like it will ge a great collection and exhibition.
You have done quite a lot to respect these firefighters and their work, Joe. Well done, and the fact they come to your help shows how much they respect your work and time as well. As they say, what goes around comes around. Well done.

Wish I could be in the city to see the work.

Walter van Dusen says:

on August 26, 2011 at 9:18 am

Stunning. Thank you for doing this Joe and also to everyone that made it posible.

KatrinaZ says:

on August 26, 2011 at 9:20 am

Thanks for the larger than life exhibition of larger than life firefighters who went beyond the call of duty.

Ed says:

on August 26, 2011 at 9:25 am

Joe, it’s a fantastic exhibit. I work near there and have been everyday so far. It’s informative, emotional and poignant. I was also very happy to meet up with Mark Krajnak, who I know through the web and finally got to meet. He also introduced me to Ellen who seems like a quiet force. Fantastic work on getting it up and many, many heartfelt thanks to those you photographed and their unseen comrades, as well as to those who helped you put it up.

DQ says:

on August 26, 2011 at 9:27 am

Wonderful, powerful little documentary, exceptionally well done. Astounding how much great work you produce… Thank you

Irjohn Junus says:

on August 26, 2011 at 9:35 am

You’re the one of the most productive, tenacious and rich in friendship of all old men that I know so far. Please live to beyond 100 year old and keep inspiring the young and green like myself? Happy 10th anniversary to the hardship behind the giant camera! I hope one day I’m in a better position to help you bring your masterpiece to Asia. That’s a promise…

Bob says:

on August 26, 2011 at 9:57 am

Joe – Chapeau on the editing of the video!

Mike Neale says:

on August 26, 2011 at 10:00 am

All the words have been said, Joe,Drew Gurian, Michael Cali, Mike Grippi and Lynda Peckham,…well done.

And to the 25+ who responded to Louie Cacchioli’s call,…thank you “Brothers and Sisters”,…we shall never forget!


Tim says:

on August 26, 2011 at 10:03 am

I so wish I could fly out there from Ireland to see them as it’s a special exhibition. Any otherway one can see more of the exhibition through photos and video etc

Ahmed Sharif says:

on August 26, 2011 at 10:49 am

I can see a lotta emotion going into that effort!
I wish I could visit the show…. all the best wishes!

Margaret says:

on August 26, 2011 at 11:31 am

Thank you, Joe.

Dave Batz says:

on August 26, 2011 at 11:53 am

We’ve know Louie Cacchioli for many years before 9-11 happened and when we first heard of the attack, we knew Louie would be there in the center of the tragedy. I never thought that I would actually know a true American hero, but Louie and the rest of the NYFD men and women and other first responders are definitely heroes.

Lee Turner says:

on August 26, 2011 at 12:52 pm

What a wonderful tribute to those gave their lives so others could live.

pramodh says:

on August 26, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I specifically went to TW center yesterday to see the photos. Powerful portraits joe.

tim says:

on August 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm

can you all believe this is doing the rounds on facebook.

NYC Policemen and Firefighters are not invited to the 10th anniversary of 9/11 at Ground Zero….. Apparently there isn’t enough room! They weren’t invited on that day in 2001 either; … THEY JUST SHOWED UP! Please re-post if you think those heroes belong there more than the Politicians.

Kim says:

on August 26, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Wow. Wow…

craig k says:

on August 26, 2011 at 10:40 pm

What a truly awesome tribute to the sprit of this great country! This is not only about the heros who made the ultimate sacrifice on Sept. 11th 2001, but the sprit of this country and its millions of volunteers who work below the radar everyday to make great things like this happen here.

Kudos to you Joe!!

Simon says:

on August 27, 2011 at 1:42 am

I’m an Aussie, and I can remember watching, in disbelief, the events unfolding on TV in the early morning hours ten years ago… what a terrible day that changed the world forever.

Joe, no words I can think of do justice in describing your efforts & contribution bringing the unsung heroes of that day to light. Thank you.

Julien says:

on August 27, 2011 at 8:12 am


Nick O'Donnell says:

on August 27, 2011 at 10:02 pm


I think this will become the most historic collection of photography of my generation. I cry every time I see them, These photographs move me deeply. I am so glad you were able to put them on display for the anniversary. I wish I could come and stand next to them.


Steve F says:

on August 28, 2011 at 7:56 am

Joe..Thank You. Thank you for recognizing the opportunity on September 11, 2001 to document these people. Thank you for exhibiting the work and thank you for all I’ve learned from you. While I will not be able to make the trip to see the exhibit, I am there in spirit. As a 25 year volunteer Firefighter, Fire Chief and EMT I regularly think about how the events that day have affected me, my family and my country. I spent some time in the 123/234 house back in 1993 and found everyone there gracious and patient with me as I rode along and took some photos. They event apologized for it being so slow, having only rolled on 12 calls! I hope that a sponsor can be found to take the exhibit on the road and if you could get it to Boston, I would make the trip for sure. Thank you again and best wishes.

Mark says:

on August 28, 2011 at 10:08 am

Ya did good kid,

Henk says:

on August 28, 2011 at 2:08 pm

9/11 for me means emotion, always as I see, hear or think about it. It was the same reading this.
I own your book, ‘Faces of ground zero’, and it captures that day and the period thereafter in a great way.
I really wish I could come to NY to see this exhibition.
Joe, thank you for what you did then and thank you for what you do now. But most of all: thanks to the heroes of 9/11.

Janine Fugere says:

on August 28, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Joe, The show looks amazing and extremely moving. You should be extremely proud. I certainly wish I could get back east to see it. Well done!

Janine Fugere
“As Seen by Janine” (from the Denver FBT)

Derek Martinez says:

on August 28, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Well done Joe!

Rob Davidson says:

on August 29, 2011 at 2:56 pm

I dropped by the exhibition this afternoon, Joe. What an amazing, overwhelmingly powerful set of images. It brought back so many memories and emotions seeing the faces and reading the stories of the people that were down there working.

Thank you for documenting these courageous people and for telling their stories. Thank you for persevering the challenges of keeping these photos. Thank you for sharing them in such a public way.

Rob Davidson

TrickyNag says:

on August 29, 2011 at 11:29 pm

I do love where we’ve chosen to live, and I rarely feel like I miss out on much, but this show is an exception. I am missing out on something truly spectacular. Please feel free to indulge me and others that can’t make it to NYC by posting more of the photos and stories on this blog!

T. C. Knight says:

on August 30, 2011 at 6:30 pm

I really wish I could see it. It is your legacy, and your gift to a grateful profession. Well done.

Gale says:

on September 1, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Dearest Joe,
Thank you for bringing this to us that can not be there.
I still can not get over 911.
Born NY…
I love you and all you do.
Bless you and all, from higher than us.

I will be attending a 911 memorial in our town .

Peace to all.

Damien says:

on September 2, 2011 at 8:50 am

I haven’t watched any documentaries about 9/11 in over 8 years. It still brings tears to my eyes to watch anything related to the event. Although I won’t be able to make it out to NY to see this, I watched that video, and I remember. Thank you.

David G. says:

on September 2, 2011 at 10:58 am

Wow Joe. Powerful.

Ann Raine says:

on September 2, 2011 at 1:26 pm

GREAT SHOW! Incredible, life size photos plus followups 10 yrs later. Each story about 9/11 is a tribute to the courage, compassion and selflessness of those people who were put in harm’s way.

Thanks to all for this exhibit


Bob says:

on September 3, 2011 at 7:01 pm

We are getting on the train early tomorrow morning to see your exhibit…thank you for making this possible.

Steven Mackie says:

on September 4, 2011 at 6:30 am


What an amazing, touching and humbling video. Thank you for being the person you are, regardless of you skills with a camera.


John Ryan says:

on September 5, 2011 at 10:45 am

I went to see the exhibit the other night. The pictures and the captions with them are very moving.

Alex Carrasco says:

on September 6, 2011 at 11:24 pm

I’m currently on a trip to NYC from spain, and I have to say visiting the expo at the Time Warner center has been one of the greatest highlights of my trip. I have to put this in context, this is my first visit to New york, so making it one of the highlights is no small thing, right up there with Top of the rock, the top terrace of the met, central park in general, discovering west village at night and so many others.
New york is a great city and this exhibition is an incredible ode to its people and the craft of Joe Mcnally, congratulations Joe.

A fan and fellow photographer.

Keith Thompson says:

on September 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm


Thanks for sharing the show at It is a moving documentary. I’m hoping the actual show will find a more permanent venue in the City for those of us who can’t view the current showing.

Kris Saelen says:

on September 8, 2011 at 8:24 pm


Thank you for sharing those amazing photos of the Faces of Ground Zero. I was both impressed by the photos and moved by the stories they told.

A fellow photographer from Belgium.

Jeremy Mitchell says:

on September 10, 2011 at 6:22 pm


Fantastic photos. The stories attached to them only serve to make them more powerful.

As others have said, I hope they find a permanent display in the 9/11 museum.


Polly Crongeyer says:

on September 10, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Although I had seen many of these images online, in one of Joe’s classes and in the book, I found the experience of seeing them, full size, at the Time Warner Center to be far more emotional than I ever expected. The notes and quotes made the individuals’ lives and experience of 911 real. A few small, personal photographs taped to several frames brought a haunting sense of the personal loss felt by so many.

Thank you for honoring these heroes, their families, co-workers and friends.

Edwin Ho says:

on September 11, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Flew in from Detroit specifically to see this exhibit. A very powerful collection of images.

Hessel says:

on September 12, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Dear Joe i could not comeback to THE exhibition in NY.Do you now if the exhibition is coming to europe or to the Netherlands. That would be grate. I love the way you teach on kelby training and i love your Style.

Coty says:

on September 14, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Love your work and especially the behind the scenes and seeing all the work that goes into it. Thanks for sharing.

Call For Artists says:

on September 15, 2011 at 6:09 am

This photos are amazing. I love the composition, excellent work.
Just wanted to pass on my congrats for putting together a great group of photographers. These shots are all wonderful.

I would Like to share another Juried show (Fusion Portfolio Review) for emerging photographers and illustrators in New York.
visit :-

Bryan says:

on September 15, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Great photojournalism as always. I enjoyed this post very much.

Artur Stull says:

on May 7, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Hi, I thought your post was amazing. Thanks a lot!

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