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9/11 Memorial Museum Curator: Photo ID Cards Found at ground zero tell stories

Of the items that remained from the wreckage of the World Trade Center, identification cards of personel were some of the most prevalent.  Salvaged by recovery workers and forensic experts from the Fresh Kills landfill, a recovered ID badge was often the only evidence that someone had been in the WTC complex on Sept. 11. Authorities went to great lengths to return IDs to victims’ families and survivors.

Some who hastily evacuated the towers on 9/11 left their photo ID badges behind. Christopher Briggs Young, a temporary employee for Marsh & McLennan Insurance Company and one of the last to escape the North Tower before its collapse, retained the visitor pass that was issued at 8:30 a.m. on the morning of Sept. 11. Young was on his way to deliver a box of meeting materials to the 99th floor when he was trapped, alone, in an express elevator.  After a half an hour, the collapse of the South Tower triggered a power failure that disabled the motor keeping the elevator doors sealed. Young extricated himself from the elevator and escaped from the building, running as the North Tower crumbled behind him. Learn more about other stories online.

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is interested in acquiring World Trade Center ID badges and learning the individual stories associated with each. Please contact if you wish to donate one to the permanent collection.

By Jan Ramirez, Chief Curator for the 9/11 Memorial Museum