As we noted yesterday, ABC News is slowly releasing some of the 2,779 new photos of the 9/11 attacks obtained from the archives of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. The images speak for themselves, but today Newsday published an interview with the NYPD helicopter pilot who took many of the photos, including the one seen here. Detective Gregory Semendinger spent three hours flying about the site that morning, doing double duty as a co-pilot and photographer, scanning the rooftops in hopes of spotting someone to save.

"We didn't find one single person. It was surreal," Semendinger, 60, tells Newsday. "There was no sound. No sound whatsoever, but the noise of the radio and the helicopter. I just kept taking pictures." He took hundreds of photos while simultaneously preparing to rescue survivors, as he did after the 1993 WTC bombing, when he rescued a woman from the North tower.

According to Newsday, "While he saw people in the tower before it collapsed, Semendinger said he didn't consider their fate at the time because he was so focused on doing his job and talking to police on the ground. He didn't learn until later that some of what he saw falling from the buildings were people." As for ABC's decision to revisit that horrific day in photos, Sally Regenhard, whose firefighter son Christian died in the attack, remarked, "I am glad to see those pictures, even though it wrenches my heart." In fact, she wants all 9/11 materials in the hands of the government to be released.