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United Airlines Flight 175, today universally known as "the second plane," seconds away from the World Trade Center's South Tower, at 9:03 a.m. EST, Sept. 11, 2011. The first plane, American Airlines Flight 11 -- slated to fly from Boston to Los Angeles -- had slammed into the North Tower 17 minutes before, at 8:46 a.m. (Getty Images/Courtesy of LIFE)

Sept. 11 Through The Eyes Of VII, Magnum And Life

by Mito Habe-Evans
Sep 10, 2011

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Running for cover. Stunned, frightened, Marcy Borders, 28, is covered in dust as she takes refuge in an office building after one of the World Trade Center towers collapsed. Borders was caught outside on the street as the cloud of smoke and dust enveloped the area, and raced into the building seeking shelter. At 9:37 a.m., American Airlines Flight 77, diverted from its Washington-to-Los Angeles flight by a team of five al-Qaida-affiliated hijackers, crashed into the western-facing side of the Pentagon. The North Tower  of the World Trade Center collapses on Sept. 11, 2001

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For those of us not in New York, Washington, D.C., or Shanksville, Pa., our memories of Sept. 11 are shaped largely by the photos of that day and its aftermath. Some of the most arresting images were collected by Life, the visual witness to much of the world's most important events of the 20th century. Many others were taken and distributed by the photo agencies Magnum and VII, both of which had members in New York that day.

Life has collected 911 photos of moments great and small that are displayed on its website.

Magnum Photos, the legendary cooperative formed by the likes of Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson, was holding its monthly meeting in New York when the planes hit the World Trade Center towers. Eleven of its members immediately took to the streets, capturing the surreal devastation as it unfolded, through the days and weeks that followed. A few of these pictures are collected here; many others can be found at

The photo agency VII was formed on Sept. 9, 2001, just two days before the attacks. Soon after, founding members Ron Haviv, Antonin Kratochvil and Christopher Morris arrived in New York to document the aftermath. See more of their photos from the aftermath on the VII website.

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