In January 2002, a freelance photographer asked a reporter from our newspaper to write a book about the New Jersey side of the 9/11 events. She had gone to The New York Times, where a reporter there sent her to us. Our reporter had never put together a book and asked me to help him.
I hated writing about 9/11. I had seen the events and I felt like a vulture hovering over its ruins and over the remains of those who had perished there. But I agreed to help organize some of the material.
Within a few months, the reporter left our paper and dumped the project in my lap. He had written nothing, but had done some interviews and collected some writter statements. Feeling that I had committed myself to the project, I agreed to write a draft for the book.
No chore was so painful as this one was, as I put together interviews I had done to create a narrative that would cover the events of Sept. 11, 2001. This was never published, although sections were put on the web as sample chapters for possible publication. Not all is yet transcribed from the handwritten draft. But in light of War of the Worlds and the imagery used, I'm going to put up the chapters here over the next week or so.