After the terrible attack on our city, we were in shock. We wanted to help but didn't know how. The blood banks quickly filled to capacity, the donation centers were overflowing and there were more volunteers than anyone knew what to do with.

People needed to express their feelings publicly. New Yorkers took to the streets and an array of memorials sprang up. Nearly every wall, mailbox, phone booth, storefront and bus shelter was covered with messages of support for rescue workers, posters of the missing and condolences for their families.

My way of coping with the tragic events was to photograph these very personal but public expressions. They helped me understand and grieve for what we had lost but gave hope that New Yorkers, and the world, will survive


photos © MARTHA COOPER/City Lore
no reproduction without permission