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This image (another by Stan Honda) is an exemplar of a strange, wrenching sight witnessed by innumerable people in New York on the morning of September 11: A survivor, layered in eerie, white dust, trudging away from the cataclysm. The man, Edward Fine, was an owner of an investment and public relations firm; he was on the 78th floor of 1 World Trade Center when it was hit. (Photo: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

For the full photo collection, go to LIFE.com

Confronting Terror: Faces of 9/11

Among the most eloquent and unsettling of the countless photographs from September 11, 2011, are those focusing not on the fall of the towers, or the jagged, smoking hole in the Pentagon, but on faces. Human faces etched with shock, fear, and disbelief at the cataclysm unfolding above them, or staring glassy-eyed into some unseen distance, stunned by the enormity of the barbarous terror unleashed that cloudless, late-summer morning. Here, LIFE.com presents a gallery focusing on witnesses to terror as they confront the unspeakable.