SEPTEMBER 11
BEARING WITNESS TO HISTORY

Browse Search About the Collection Curator Stories

click to enlarge
Negative #: 2002-5962.5

Briefcase recovered from World Trade Center
Description: This briefcase recovered from the World Trade Center wreckage belonged to Lisa Lefler, an Aon Risk Services employee.

Context: World Trade Center workers had varied experiences on September 11. While about 2,200 office workers were killed, over 20,000 managed to escape the Twin Towers.

When the first plane struck the north tower, Lisa Lefler, an Aon Risk Services executive, immediately evacuated her 103rd-floor office in the south tower. In her haste she left her briefcase behind. Seventeen minutes after the north tower was hit the south tower was struck, cutting off the escape path above the 78th floor. Fifty-six minutes later, the entire building collapsed, killing 175 of Lefler's fellow Aon employees.

Several days later, Boyd Harden, a rescue worker at Ground Zero, found the briefcase in the debris and returned it to Lefler.

click to enlarge
Partial view of resume found inside briefcase
As the writing on the clear plastic cover indicates, Boyd Harden found this resume inside Lisa Leffler's briefcase, and it allowed Mr. Harden to identify and locate Ms. Leffler. The resume was tattered but entire. This view has been altered to protect [...]
click to enlarge
Curatorís notes
Notes from the curatorís files about the route of Lisa Leflerís briefcase and its discovery. Transcript: found 12-13 Sep by EMT Boyd Harden @ Greenwich St. near O'Hara's Pub on the street (Albany St.) Bag identified as Lefler's by resume in bag, found [...]
click to enlarge

Aon Risk Services employee Lisa Lefler
click for full text
Statement from Lisa Lefler
September 11, 2001 My Recollection The morning of September 11 started out like any other morning. The train was on time, the path train was crowded. It was a beautiful, sunny fall day. I went to the deli across the street for a bagel before going [...]
click for full text
Statement from Boyd Harden
Briefcase Found At WTC On September 13, 2001 The Events Surrounding Lisa Lefler's Briefcase That I Found At The WTC by Boyd E. Harden At approximately 9:00 AM on September 11, 2001, my wife, who works in New York City (NYC), called me at our apartment [...]
click to hear audio
click for transcript
"...not the sort of thing we would collect unless it had some extraordinary, iridescent story."
David Shayt
September 11 Collecting Curator. Museum Specialist, Division of Cultural History
click to hear audio
click for transcript
"...We have convinced her that these shoes would be welcome here at the museum... "
David Shayt
September 11 Collecting Curator. Museum Specialist, Division of Cultural History

<< BROWSE MORE OBJECTS






Credits | Privacy Policy
©2002 National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution