Paul McCormack, the Donegal born former NYPD police commander who was among the first of the rescue services to the city's collapsed Twin Towers on September 11, 2001 plans to release an exhibition of previously unseen images and artefacts from the terrible day.
Speaking to the Irish press this week, McCormack said he plans to release the previously unseen photographs and audio for the 10th anniversary of the attack.
“I was NYPD Commanding Officer in the Bronx when the news broke of the attack," McCormack told the press. "I immediately grabbed my flak jackets and secured access for my wife Nicola, a photo journalist with city newspapers."
“We arrived on the scene and there was carnage and destruction everywhere. Nicola took about 3,000 images of the destruction, which were never publicly released. She intended releasing these on the fifth anniversary, but felt it was not the time.”
After 9/11, Paul was transferred to Manhattan’s 13 Precinct. “The next three months for me were crazy times and the experiences were terrible and without like or equal,” he added.
Paul, who was injured in the line of duty and eventually retired, kept police audio tapes of rescue services call-ins and he has preserved artifacts from Ground Zero, including thousands of images taken by his wife. Now he believes that these items should be displayed as a tribute to the victims, families and rescue workers.
“People need to reach out and touch these items and see the photographs,” Paul explained. “The project is named ‘Ground Zero 360’, as many of the photos are fully enlarged on walls giving a wraparound view of the area and destruction caused. We were going to release the exhibition in the States next year, but Ireland was the only country in the world to fully close down the day following 9/11 as a mark of respect to New York and its victims.
The launch of Ground Zero 360 will take place in Dublin in September, 2011.