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A 9/11 Remembrance: Photographer, Retired Court Officer Rushed To Heights Promenade That Day

September 10, 2021 Photos and story by Mario Belluomo
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As we all recall September 11 2001 dawned a spectacular day. Who knew what was to befall the nation withing a few short hours after sunrise!

I had just arrived at work at the Supreme Court building when I heard the news of a plane hitting the World Trade Center. At first like most people yet to witness the magnitude of damage done by the first plane, and thought that it was some kind of accident and perhaps a small plane. Shortly thereafter, someone yelled another plane has hit the other building. Before I could look at the television or ask any other questions, I grabbed my camera which I always carried — being a exclusive photographer for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle —and ran down to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. To my surprise the Promenade was not as crowded as I thought it would be. I immediately started to take photos of the burning buildings. They were a horrific sight to behold. What amazed me most was the dead silence of the awestruck spectators. I could see that most did not believe what they were seeing. Several people were gently weeping. I even remember so vividly one person jogging with headphones, perhaps in denial of what had just happened, and several dog walkers trying to calm their pups in the all-enveloping stillness.

There was no screaming into cell phones, just the sound of silence—total silence—and the distant rumbling of the towers burning. I was one of the first press photographers in Brooklyn Heights to take the photos of this scene. After taking photos of the towers, I turned my camera to the spectators. They were oblivious to my presence, all lost in their own thoughts and fears.

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It was a day that America will never forget and the people of Brooklyn Heights will never get out of their minds eye the scene that unfolded outside their windows. America had been attacked and, unfortunately, they had a front row sea. The war had started in their backyard.

Here are some photos I took that day. They have never been published before. After the confusion of that day, they were put away and forgotten, As the 20th anniversary comes up, I felt it was time to remember once again what it was like to be on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade that awful morning. These photos are a Brooklyn Daily Eagle exclusive, first time published.

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