SEPTEMBER 11
BEARING WITNESS TO HISTORY

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Stairway evacuation, north tower, World Trade Center. Photo by John Labriola.
The building occupants file downstairs as firefighters head up the stairwell in the World Trade Center.


Location: World Trade Center
Source: Gift of John Labriola


Related Objects


Survivor's photographs of World Trade Center
Description: This collection of 110 images was taken inside and outside the World Trade Center on September 11 by John Labriola, amateur photographer and independent contractor with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Context: For many people, cameras are like diaries—a means to record minor as well as important details of daily life. John Labriola used his Nikon CoolPix digital camera to make this amazing record of one survivor’s view of the events of September 11. His photographs show the calm before the attack, the drama in the stairwell as workers evacuated and firefighters rushed to help, the carnage and destruction on the street, and finally his return home.

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World Trade Center towers
Labriola’s photography on September 11, 2001, began with images of the Twin Towers against a clear morning sky.
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Evacuation through lobby
Rescue workers direct evacuees through the lobby of the north tower of the World Trade Center.
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World Trade Center towers ablaze
Once outside the building, Labriola captured images of the Twin Towers on fire.
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Rescue workers
Rescue personnel fill the streets outside the World Trade Center before its collapse.
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Debris
Newspaper and debris, including an airplane fragment, lie on the street outside the World Trade Center before its collapse.
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Outside Trinity Church
Dust fills the air outside Trinity Church, adjacent to the World Trade Center, where John Labriola took shelter during the building collapses.
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Wall Street
Wall Street, transformed by debris from the World Trade Center collapse.
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SoHo
The last image Labriola took was outside a relative’s apartment in SoHo.
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Statement from John Labriola
World Trade Center | September 11, 2001 I was there, it is so terrible, but I'm okay. Many people weren't so lucky. I had started a new contract for the Port Authority about two weeks ago. I drove in that day down the East River Drive and parked in [...]
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"John Labriola, an amateur photographer carrying a Nikon digital camera on his way to work on September 11..."
Michelle Delaney
Collections Manager, Photographic History Collection




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