Brighton Man Captured 9-11 on Film
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A Brighton man, who was in New York City when terrorists struck the World Trade Center, captured the event in a series of photographs.
Brad Thyroff was in New York for the Women’s final at the 2001 U.S. Open Tennis Championships. Venus Williams defeated her sister Serena in the title match on September 8th. At the time, Thyroff was a hitting partner for the Williams sisters.
He was staying with friends in Brooklyn and said it was a great weekend of tennis. But that excitement quickly vanished three days later.
"I was still sleeping when the first plane hit the tower,” Thyroff said. “I was woken up by the people I was staying with. Then, just the whole world changed just like that."
An aspiring photographer back in 2001, Thyroff says grabbed his camera equipment and went to work.
"We went on to the roof of the apartment building where I was staying and we had a birds eye view, probably five miles as the crow flies, to the towers. It was a gorgeous sunny day like everyone remembers, not a cloud in the sky and we couldn't believe what we were looking at."
Brad spent the entire day on that roof taking photo after photo, documenting the collapse of the World Trade Center. He took nearly 100 pictures, but says he doesn’t look at them very often.
"I know they're historically important photographs,” he explained. “I've been meaning to talk to folks at the George Eastman house to see if it’s something they'd like to keep in their collection. But for me, I just keep them in a binder in my closet for now."
The married father of a three-year-old, Brad says he’ll someday share the photos with his son, once he's old enough to understand.
"We'll have to let him know what happened and that I was there and that I took some photos,” Thyroff said. “But we give love as much as we can and events like this remind us to give love and hold those dear to you as close as you can to your heart because you never know. There were a lot of people that didn't realize they were going to lose a loved one that day."