Robert T. Bennett III '98
know it doesn't make sense. I can't seem to explain sufficiently
to anyone why I went there. My apartment on 79th St. was
at least four miles from "Ground Zero." But I just
felt a pull. It was more than a curiosity. I'd never felt
this full of purpose before. It seems fateful that only two
days earlier I had returned to photography after a long sabbatical.
Filling my knapsack with a camera, a pair of lenses, some
film and water, I was out the door and quickly heading south
down Lexington Avenue. I passed thousands of people with
wide eyes, out of breath and scurrying in the opposite direction.
It was absurd. What would my mother think? Where am I going?
Is this a good shot? You see, taking pictures brought me
close to the lady in the blue pinstripe suit, the abandoned
bicycle with a rainbow of rhinestones, the chilling magnificence
of the cloud of dust before me. Shocking, unbelievable, amazing,
Vesey Street and North End Avenue: The towers had fallen.
The chaos was somehow serene. Confidential legal and financial
documents shuffled softly between my feet. Charred and pierced
love letters, vacation schedules and family photos played
footsie with long-faced firefighters with nothing to do.
Really, there was nothing to do. No one was screaming for
help, the ground was burning without fire, and there was
no one to protect anymore. It's amazing, and it still doesn't
Robert T. Bennett III '98 was born and raised
in Reading, Mass. His first photography instructor was his
now resides in New York City where he works as a telecommunications
consultant with The Bennett Group. His 9/11 photos have
drawn interest from Time and were published in the New York
Post. Bennett has done photo essays on Scotland, England,
Holland, France, Spain, Italy, Jamaica and the Canary Islands.
He is currently working with the producer/director of a documentary
on the firefighters involved in 9/11. Bennett welcomes your
thoughts and can be reached via email at email@example.com.