Photo credit: © Joe McNally
Accession Number: C.2016.180.1
Dimensions: 109 in X 44 in X 0.08 in
Dimensions (Metric): 276.86 cm X 111.76 cm X 0.2032 cm
Credit Line: Collection 9/11 Memorial Museum. © Joe McNally.
Harry Davis, Firefighter, Squad 1, FDNY
Life-sized Polaroid photograph taken by Joe McNally depicting FDNY Squad 18 firefighter Harry Davis, dressed in his dust-covered bunker gear and cradling his ax and Halligan tool.
On September 11, 2001, Harry Davis—a chauffeur with Squad 18—left his shift earlier that morning and was on his way home when he heard the news on his car radio about the attacks underway in lower Manhattan. He immediately returned to participate in the urgent search-and-rescue operations. Squad 18 lost seven members that morning and their rig was found crushed under the remains of the North Tower. In the aftermath, Davis continued to assist with recovery operations at Ground Zero. He retired from the FDNY in 2003.
Davis’s portrait introduces McNally’s book Faces of Ground Zero. For the caption paired with the image, Davis reflected on the unpredictability of fate on 9/11: “We tried not to think about our guys when we were searching for survivors, but I still hoped to see them walking around the corner any second. I don’t feel lucky to be alive. I just wonder why they had to go. It’s not fair. Why them?”