12 photos
THE STORY BEHIND THE PHOTOS

These images were taken in 2014. It was my first time viewing the lights and I was immediately taken with the solemnity of the event. Despite hundreds of people milling about, it was almost silent. I had mixed emotions while viewing the lights. When I first arrived, I was greeted with a profound sadness - the grief and loss of that day rushing back. Tears welled up and my heart felt heavy. I couldn't even take my camera out for the first hour I was there. But soon a sense of peace came over me. The sheer beauty of the Lights above Lower Manhattan lifted the sadness. When I was finally able to begin shooting, almost on cue, the moon began to rise above the Freedom Tower. I was in awe. By the time I was ready to leave, I had a sense of quiet acceptance.

Yes, what was lost that day can never be replaced. And healing can be painfully slow. But after that night I felt a sense of peace where before there had only been sadness. I am truly grateful for that.
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