MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — A 19-year-old man in New York recently rediscovered his family's photo album from 9/11 ahead of the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
As he flips through the pictures, Liam Enea is struck at the detail portrayed in each frame, a clear blue sky serving as the backdrop for one of the darkest days in American history.
But the pictures weren't taken by a professional photographer. Instead, they were snapped by Enea’s great-aunt on a small film camera and tucked away in an album that the 19-year-old recently rediscovered.
On September 11, 2001, three months before Liam was born, his great-aunt, MaryAnn Puglisi, stood on the balcony of her Manhattan apartment. Not knowing what else to do, Puglisi grabbed a disposal camera, started clicking away and did not stop.
"She was just taking pictures. My mom said she was screaming the entire time," Liam said as he flipped through the pictures taken by Puglisi.
For years, the photo album sat in a box, passed on from family member to family member, a sort of keepsake heirloom. The album was recently rediscovered by Liam.
"It makes me wonder why she didn't publicize these," Liam explained.
The photos are an incredibly personal projection of history, about 50 of them all neatly displaced in an unassuming pink photo album.
With each click of the shutter, another moment in history was captured forever.
"This was the big inflection point between our post-Cold War dominance as a nation and going back into war," Liam reflected.
He wasn't sure why, but the college freshman felt the need to share the snapshots of history. A short post on Reddit has brought the pictures back to light. One user even managed to spot himself on a bike, trying to flee from the plume of ash and debris.
"To me, it’s not just how it happened. It can be classified as war photography because we were watching the opening salvo of 20 years of war," Enea remarked.
Puglisi passed away last year, meaning the photo album detailing one of America's darkest days now belongs to Enea. He will hold on to it in perpetuity.
"I could imagine the type of stress that my great-aunt was under, watching this happen right before her eyes. You know, it’s like imagine going on your back deck and watching a wartime activity happen. It’s the most terrifying thing you can imagine, not knowing what’s going to happen next," said Enea.