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9/11 through the eyes of a first responder and his disposable camera

BY and   September 11, 2016 at 10:12 AM EST
Photo taken with a disposable camera after 9/11 attacks. Courtesy of Ken George.

First responder Ken George photographed the aftermath of 9/11 with a disposable camera in the days afterward. Photo by Ken George

Anyone who was in the U.S. during the Sept. 11 attacks has their own images from that day imprinted in their mind. Ken George, a first responder to the events of that day, captured some of those images on a disposable camera that he took with him when he was ordered to ground zero the night of the attack.

George worked for New York City’s Department of Transportation at the time, working on bridges, fixing trucks, and ripping up and repaving roads. He thought he was going to direct traffic on the evening of the attacks, but when he got to ground zero, his assignment was much grimmer. The bulk of it involved removing debris — including body parts — in the aftermath.

“It looked like the gates of hell opened up and swallowed everything,” George told the PBS NewsHour.

George spent more than 750 hours at the World Trade Center site, taking dozens of pictures of what he saw. He says he took them “so my grandkids could see what I went through back then.”

Fifteen years later, he’s given NewsHour permission to republish some of them. See George’s photos below.

Photo by Ken George

Photo by Ken George

Photo by Ken George

Photo by Ken George

Photo taken with a disposable camera after 9/11 attacks. Courtesy of Ken George.

Photo taken with a disposable camera after 9/11 attacks. Courtesy of Ken George.

Photo by Ken George

Photo by Ken George

Photo by Ken George

Photo by Ken George

Photo taken with a disposable camera after 9/11 attacks. Courtesy of Ken George.

Photo taken with a disposable camera after 9/11 attacks. Courtesy of Ken George.

Photo by Ken George

Photo by Ken George

Photo taken with a disposable camera after 9/11 attacks. Courtesy of Ken George.

Photo taken with a disposable camera after 9/11 attacks. Courtesy of Ken George.

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