These Photos Of 9/11 First Responders Will Break Your Heart But Make You Damn Proud

A version of this post was originally published on Sept. 11, 2013.

Very little needs to be said about the following photos of first responders on September 11th, 2001 and during the subsequent recovery efforts. The images speak for themselves. Some of these brave souls paid the ultimate price for their heroics, but all first responders that day showed us that even during the darkest hours, humanity can shine incredibly bright.


Assistant Chief Gerard A. Barbara looks up at the burning towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 in New York City. Moments later he would go in, never to return. (Photo by David Handschuh/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)


New York Daily News staff photographer David Handschuh is carried from site after his leg was shattered by falling debris while he was photographing the terrorist attack. (Photo by Todd Maisel/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)


Police officer Mike Brennan helps a distraught woman known only as Beverly, as ash and debris cover the area following the collapse of 1 World Trade Center. (Photo by Corey Sipkin/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)


A police officer helps a woman to a bus after she fled the area near the World Trade Center towers. (STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)


United States Secret Service Agent Thomas Armas, carries an injured woman to an ambulance after Tower One of World Trade center collapsed. (Photo By: Thomas Monaster/NY Daily News via Getty Images)

911 first responders

Firefighter Louis Cacchioli (left) from Engine 47 in Harlem helps carry Battalion Chief Michael Telesca of Battalion 19, Bronx (center) who was inside the basement of the south World Trade Tower (#2) when it collapsed, with the assistance of an unidentified Police Officer. (Photo by Thomas Monaster/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)


This photo was taken of Port Authority Police Officer Christopher Amoroso shortly before he went back into #2 World Trade Center and was killed in the collapse. (Photo by Todd Maisel/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)


Firefighters Todd Heaney and Frankie DiLeo, of Engine 209, carry injured firefighter Lt. Ray Brown from the rubble of the World Trade Center. (Photo by Todd Maisel/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)


A fireman holds his face in his hands in the debris of the World Trade Center. (MARCOS TOWNSEND/AFP/Getty Images)


Firefighters look for survivors in the rubble of the World Trade Center. (Photo by Todd Maisel/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)


Fire fighters resting between searches at the World Trade Center. (Photo by Lynn Johnson/National Geographic/Getty Images)


Army reserve officer, wearing American flag on his backpack, guards site of what was once the World Trade Center as rescue workers continue to comb through the rubble in search of the nearly 5,000 people still missing. Rain turned the ash and debris into slippery mud, hindering efforts and posing yet another hazard to workers. (Photo by Todd Maisel/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)


Micah, a German Shepherd from Connecticut, rests under the shade of a dog biscuit box in a firehouse opposite the World Trade Center after a 20-hour day spent searching fruitlessly for survivors amidst the wreckage of the former World Trade Center. (Photo by James Keivom/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)


Trained rescue dog Gus and his trainer Ed Apple from the Tennessee Task Force One Search & Rescue team searching for survivors in the wreckage at the Pentagon. (Photo by Mai/Mai/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)


Saul Apunte and dog Shannon rest after a day of searching for survivors. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)


A search dog sleeps behind a New York firefighter at the scene of the World Trade Center. (Photo by Preston Keres/US Navy/Getty Images)


On September 14, 2001, in New York United States, President George Bush comforts New York City Fire Dept Lt Lenard Phelan of Battalion 46, whose brother, Lt Kenneth Phelan of Battalion 32, is among the 300 members of the FDNY still unaccounted for from the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center. (Photo by 8393/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)


Firefighters raise a U.S. flag at the site of the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the attacks. (Photo by 2001 The Record (Bergen Co. NJ)/Getty Images)


Firefighters and soldiers unfurl an American flag from the roof of the damaged side of the Pentagon on September 12th, 2001. AFP PHOTO/Luke FRAZZA (Photo credit should read LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty Images)

Charlotte Dumas
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