Every year on September 11, an East Tennessee man revisits the harrowing videos and photos he captured at the World Trade Center in the wake of the devastation.
Following the attacks, Morristown native Jason Pack had traveled with a team of photographers to document recovery efforts for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“These pictures bring back all of the burning smells, and lots of different emotions,” Pack said, scrolling through the photos his team took.
Pack traveled beneath the World Trade Center, into a series of connecting tunnels that led to several abandoned businesses.
“When you go through there documenting things, it’s like time was standing still. Everything was frozen. Everybody had dropped everything and gotten out of there,” Pack said.
Much of his team’s photographs show crews sifting through mounds of rubble. But among the destruction, Pack found a silver lining.
“When I walked into Pier 92, this banner was hanging there – and it was from Bearden Middle School in Knoxville,” he said. “That was the school that I lived closest to. And going all the way to New York City and walking into the middle of this unreal tragedy-- it's just very sobering.”
The banner, which reads “America the beautiful”, wasn’t the only symbol of support he ran into from East Tennessee.
Pack said he also ran into several Knox County deputies while in New York.
"The best part about this and the stories that don't get told are the resilience of the people who are facing these tragedies. Not everything that happens is good, but we can find the good that happens in all of these things."
Now Pack is working to share his memories with his two children, in hopes of ensure those stories of resilience and loss aren't forgotten.
“At the time, you didn’t know what an impact this day would have. This day changed everything, so it’s important to remember that.”
(© 2016 WBIR)