SEPTEMBER 11
BEARING WITNESS TO HISTORY

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Cell phone used outside World Trade Center
Description: On September 11, Bob Boyle, who worked near the World Trade Center, used this cell phone to contact family and friends.

Context: On September 11, Bob Boyle was one of thousands of New Yorkers who tried to use their cell phones to reach loved ones. But the attack cut cellular service from the transmission tower located on top of the north tower of the World Trade Center, and other service quickly overloaded. Boyle, an amateur photographer, wanted to stay near the disaster scene to take pictures but reluctantly left in search of a better phone signal. Soon thereafter, the south tower collapsed near where he had been standing. He credits this cell phone with saving his life.

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Closed cell phone
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Photographer Bob Boyle
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Statement from Bob Boyle
On the train, I always keep an eye out for the Chambers Street Station—the World Trade Center stop—since my stop is the one after it. I got off with about 20 other people hitting the stairs in front of me…People were shouting at us: Get out of the [...]

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