The images are powerful.
Workers hanging from the windows of the World Trade Center as the massive towers burn. People gathered in the streets of New York, staring up at the sky. Helicopters flying over the burning Pentagon. A lone firefighter digging through the rubble. A child placing flowers at a makeshift memorial.
These images, and thousands more, have been captured in several books recording the events surrounding the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. Accompanied by emotional tales of survival and loss, hope and heroism, they are historical records bound together as a reminder of how the world changed that day.
Some of the books are a tribute not to the tragedy and its heroes, but to the World Trade Center towers themselves.
"The September 11 Photo Project" (ReganBooks, 208 pages, $29.95), edited by Michael Feldschuh, is a compilation of work featured at a gallery in New York's SoHo district during the months following the attacks. The exhibit opened on Oct. 13, 2001, with 200 submissions and grew to more than 3,500 photos.
"A Tribute" (Barnes & Noble, unpaged. $19.95) by Jay Maisel captures the towers in various moments of glory, as the glow of the sunset shines from their strong, steel beams, or as fog from a winter storm shrouds the tops of the buildings as if they were twin peaks of a mountain. (Available only through Barnes & Noble stores and on the Web site, www.bn.com).
"The World Trade Center: A Tribute" (Courage, 96 pages, $14.98) by Bill Harris goes even farther, recounting the story of how two of the world's tallest buildings were constructed. It also includes a short historical account of the creation of the financial district in lower Manhattan, the area the twin towers came to symbolize.
"Portraits 9-11-01: The Collected 'Portraits of Grief' from The New York Times" (Henry Holt, 558 pages, $30) is a compilation of obituaries written by the staff of The New York Times for each victim of the World Trade Center attacks. For months, they appeared daily in a special section of the Times, "A Nation Challenged." They offer a glimpse into the lives that were lost that day "the names and faces behind the unimaginable statistics."
In "September 11: A Testimony" (Prentice Hall, 266 pages, $29.99), Reuters, the international news organization, has created a book of very personal and poignant photographs. Each stands on a page alone with a simple caption.
"New York September Eleven Two Thousand One" (de.MO, 176 pages, $35) is a collection of thoughtful photographs, poems, journals and essays from a diverse group of people: actors and writers, survivors and Red Cross volunteers. Novelist Luc Sante writes: "My son still does not know what happened on his second birthday. I don't want him to grow up in a world whose every detail is dictated by the repercussions of that day."
"New York September 11" (powerHouse Books, 144 pages, $29.95) was shot entirely by Magnum photographers. Each photo is more gripping than the one before it and contains a short anecdote by the photographer. For his picture of a young girl holding a sign saying "Support our troops" at a prayer service at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 23, Bruce Gilden writes: "The feeling outside the stadium was clear: We're gonna beat this."
Life magazine's "One Nation: America Remembers September 11, 2001" (Little, Brown, 192 pages, $29.95) is a comprehensive account of the attacks. It features photographs and stories from survivors and from relatives of those who died. The book also includes an exhibit of life-size portraits of rescue workers, volunteers, widows and survivors taken by Life photographer Joe McNally.
All or part of the proceeds from each book will be donated to one of several Sept. 11 charities.