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Sept. 15, 2001: A National Guardsman in protective gear patrols the devastated area around the collapsed World Trade Center.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Sept. 15, 2001: Ann Zemaitas hugs her son Nicholas, 2, as she returns to their apartment to pick up medicine for the boy, check the fish and get food for their dogs. The family is staying in a hotel.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Sept. 15, 2001: A flier on a lamppost seeks information on a missing firefighter. Similar handbills were posted all over Manhattan.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Sept. 13, 2001: After limited airline service was restored, Pam Price of Atlanta waits for her Delta Airlines flight to leave John Wayne Airport and take her home.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Sept. 15, 2001: A military helicopter lands on the south side of the Pentagon as a truck moves material out from the wreckage of hijacked American Airlines Flight 77.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Sept. 17, 2001: A National Guard member looks at flags taped to the bull on Wall Street. Hours before dawn, policemen and National Guard troops set up barriers across Wall and Broad streets.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Sept. 17, 2001: Floor traders gather for the reopening of the New York Stock Exchange, an event that was welcomed by many who were relieved to return to work. Stocks declined heavily on record-setting volume.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Sept. 17, 2001: On the first day of trading after 9/11, two New York Stock Exchange brokers hug after two minutes of silence and "God Bless America."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Sept. 21, 2001: A U.S. Coast Guard Port Security unit trains machine guns over Boston Harbor during a patrol at dusk.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Sept. 25, 2001: Desmond Fladger tries on a gas mask at Uncle Sam's Army Navy Outfitters in Greenwich Village. The store is selling as many as 500 of the masks a day.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Sept. 27, 2001: People peer through a piece of tarp put up to obstruct the public from viewing the World Trade Center disaster site in Manhattan.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Oct. 15, 2001: Old Glory stands out in the remains of the north tower of the World Trade Center as recovery work continues.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

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Covering 9/11: The 40-hour drive

With flights grounded after Sept. 11 attacks, Los Angeles Times staff photographers Wally Skalij and Kirk McKoy were dispatched to New York -– by car. Skalij later wrote this short piece for Among Ourselves, the Los Angeles Times employee newsletter.

By Wally Skalij

Kirk McKoy and I drove from Los Angeles to New York in about 40 hours, including a 1-hour stop in Oklahoma City to see the memorial for the New York disaster. We took 6-hour shifts driving and only stopped for gas and food, which we ate on the road.

The photo [first in the above gallery] with the National Guardsman in the foreground and “Ground Zero” in the background was shot by sneaking past the police barricades. I wore a hard hat and fireman’s jacket and hid my camera underneath my jacket. I proceeded to take photos very carefully. Some photographers were arrested for impersonating rescue personnel. I stood right there for 10 minutes before I shot my first frame and tried to act like an amateur photographer.

The photo of the mother and son in the stairwell [second in the gallery] was taken after the reporter and I spotted them in the street and approached to talk to them. She was returning to her apartment for the first time and wanted to see the view of the area from the roof where the stairs are. At that point she remembered that the fish were not fed and had probably died, and her boy started to cry.

Other Los Angeles Times photographers were dispatched after airline service resumed.

The above gallery consists of images by Times photographers Wally Skalij, Kirk McKoy, Allen J. Schaben and Rick Loomis.

Coming Thursday: Times photographers Gary Friedman and Robert Gauthier reflect on some of their 9/11 images.

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