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Few aspects of The New York Times's coverage of September 11 and of all that has followed have attracted as much comment as "Portraits of Grief." A page or two buried deep in the B section every day for 15 weeks, the series profiled the lives lost in the attacks on the World Trade Center and has become a story in itself, becoming required reading for many, the world over.
Beginning on Sept. 14, a half-dozen Times reporters began working from a stack of 100 missing person fliers collected from points around the World Trade Center site. They crafted profiles--stories containing short but signature details of the lives they strove to present. These portraits transcend race, class, and gender lines and tell of the old and the young, praising their individuality while at the same time cutting through their differences to capture the poignancy of their shared similarity: life cut short in an American tragedy. The stories have become a source of connection and consolation, a focus for the sorrow of readers both reeling from disbelief and searching for support. To paraphrase "Portraits" reporter Charlie LeDuff, there's more than one Ground Zero--there are thousands of Ground Zeros. Portraits: 9/11/01, a collection of the over 1,800 profiles published in the Times, helps us visit them all.
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001 Biography, Victims of terrorism New York (State) New York Biography, New York (N, Y, ) Biography