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Photographer recounts Sept. 11 tragedy

The morning of Sept. 11 seemed like someone hit the mute button on New York City said David Handschuh, a photographer for the New York Daily News.

Handschuh, who was on the scene as the disaster unfolded, said Sept. 11 began as a beautiful, calm, late summer morning, until 8:48 a.m.

“It took only one hour and 10 minutes until my life changed forever,” Handschuh said. “I didn’t have any idea that I would be covering the biggest story in the history of the modern world.”

Handschuh said he arrived in downtown Manhattan in time to capture the moment the second plane hit the World Trade Center tower two and the chaos that ensued.

“You could hear things cracking, hear glass breaking and see things falling,” he said. “Lower Manhattan began to look like old black-and-white news reels.”

During a one-hour presentation in the Communication Information Sciences building Sunday Handschuh painted a vivid picture of the events that occurred on Sept. 11 in New York. Forty Tampa residents, students and media professionals attended the lecture entitled “Ground Zero: A Photographer’s Perspective.” Handschuh also presented a collection of photos assembled by the photo department for the New York Daily News.

At the conclusion of his presentation, Handschuh talked about life after Sept. 11 for journalists around the world who were affected by the tragedy. Handschuh said journalists are among the people who were affected the most when covering traumatic or stressful situations.

Handschuh said he hoped viewers of this presentation would understand that Americans will recover from Sept. 11.

Catherine Seybold, assistant director for International Students and Scholar Services , said the presentation brought back a lot of memories.

“It was touching for me to see that he had the strength to cover the story again after having experienced it firsthand,” said Seybold. “The message was not to forget about that tragic day but to also dialogue about it.”

Allen Fetters, journalist for WTVT Fox 13, said it was important to see Handschuh’s pictures and hear his story.

“A lot of times we see it on television and in the newspapers, but we really don’t understand what went on behind the scenes and to hear what journalists go through on a daily basis. I think Handschuh’s presentation helps show that,” said Fetters.

Handschuh said the events of Sept. 11 changed his outlook on life.

“I now look at life as every day being a good day. On Sept. 10, I can tell you truthfully that I viewed the world with a glass-half-empty perspective,” said Handschuh. “On Sept. 12, I can tell you truthfully how much my cup is overflowing.”

Please mail any comments regarding this story to Marcus Braziel at