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20 images that documented the enormity of 9/11

Twenty years later, The Associated Press has curated 20 of its photographers’ frames from Sept. 11, 2001, when hijackers used commercial planes as missiles and crashed into New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field. (Reporting JENNIFER PELTZ, AP)

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It was a day of indelible images — apocalyptic, surreal, violent, ghostly, both monumental and profoundly personal. Wrenching to remember. Impossible to forget.

The terrorist attacks of 9/11 were captured in countless pictures by news photographers, bystanders, first responders, security cameras, FBI agents, and others. Even an astronaut on the International Space Station took some.

Twenty years later, The Associated Press has curated 20 of its photographers’ frames from Sept. 11, 2001, when hijackers used commercial planes as missiles and crashed into New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field. The attacks killed nearly 3,000 people and toppled the trade center’s 110-story twin towers.

20 images that documented the enormity of 9-11 -
Pedestrians in lower Manhattan watch smoke billow from New York’s World Trade Center on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

20 images that documented the enormity of 9-11 -
Thick smoke billows into the sky from the area behind the Statue of Liberty, lower left, where the World Trade Center was, on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Daniel Hulshizer)

20 images that documented the enormity of 9-11 -
People cover their faces as they escape the collapse of New York’s World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Suzanne Plunkett)

20 images that documented the enormity of 9-11 -
Fire and smoke billows from the north tower of New York’s World Trade Center on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/David Karp)

20 images that documented the enormity of 9-11 -
Flames and smoke pour from a building at the Pentagon in Washington on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Will Morris)

20 images that documented the enormity of 9-11 -
Deputy chief of the Army Reserve, Col. Malcolm Bruce Westcott, comforts Pentagon employee Racquel Kelley while giving her medical aid outside the Pentagon in Washington on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Will Morris)

A person falls from the north tower of New York’s World Trade Center as another clings to the outside, left, while smoke and fire billow from the building, Tuesday Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

20 images that documented the enormity of 9-11 -
People flee the falling South Tower of the World Trade Center on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

20 images that documented the enormity of 9-11 -
Smoke billows through buildings in Manhattan as seen from Brooklyn after the collapse of New York’s World Trade Center, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

20 images that documented the enormity of 9-11 -
Harry Shasho sweeps up before being evacuated from his vitamin store after the collapse of New York’s World Trade Center on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Suzanne Plunkett)

20 images that documented the enormity of 9-11 -
Pedestrians flee the area of New York’s World Trade Center in lower Manhattan on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

20 images that documented the enormity of 9-11 -
Two women hold each other as they watch the World Trade Center burn in New York Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Ernesto Mora)

20 images that documented the enormity of 9-11 -
Smoke billows from one of the towers of the World Trade Center as flames and debris explode from the second tower, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Chao Soi Cheong)

20 images that documented the enormity of 9-11 -
People walk over New York’s Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn following the collapse of both World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

20 images that documented the enormity of 9-11 -
People flee the scene near New York’s World Trade Center Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)

20 images that documented the enormity of 9-11 -
A fireman screams in pain as he is rescued shortly after both towers of New York’s World Trade Center collapsed following a terrorist attack, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. (Robert Mecea/Newsday via AP)

20 images that documented the enormity of 9-11 -
Firefighters work beneath the destroyed mullions, the vertical struts, of the World Trade Center in New York on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

20 images that documented the enormity of 9-11 -
A firefighter moves through piles of debris at the site of the World Trade Center in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Graham Morrison)

20 images that documented the enormity of 9-11 -
The remains of the World Trade Center stands amid the debris in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Alexandre Fuchs)

20 images that documented the enormity of 9-11 -
Pedestrians on Pierrepont Place in the Brooklyn borough of New York, watch as smoke billows from the remains of the World Trade Center in New York, Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)

20 images that documented the enormity of 9/11

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