September 11th anniversary: NYC photo exhibit shows never-before-seen objects from 9/11 attacks

NEW YORK CITY -- A NatGeo exhibit by Henry Leutwyler features rare and never before seen objects from the attacks of September 11.

"Sacred Dust" opened at Foley Gallery at 59 Orchard Street Friday and runs through September 26.

"Nightmare material," Leutwyler said. "I wake up once a week thinking of something I photographed."

Often in life, it's the smallest things that make the biggest impact. Found in the rubble following the 9/11 was someone's computer keyboard, a person's rolodex -- items that reflect just how catastrophic that day was.

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On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we hear from the Eyewitness News journalists who were there, in the streets, in the air, and in the newsroom, reporting on the events as the tragedy unfolded, capturing the unforgettable video of that day, and risking their lives to tell the world what was happening.


For the first time, visitors can se Flight 93's engine and part of the wing from one of the hijacked planes.

Leutwyler captured the images, some of which are now featured in a 22-page spread in National Geographic.

"This is not art," Leutwyler said. "This is documentary. Walk through it, and let's pay some kind of homage to the decreased."

Among those killed was a woman who survived the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. She reluctantly went back to work in the Twin Towers, and was her wristwatch was found in the debris in 2001.

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There's a pair of pants belonging to an EMT with a handwritten note reading "do not wash," and ash of the remains of those who died.

"I just hope I can, through those images, educate and share a tragic moment in our history," Leutwyler said.

How these photographs are displayed was also a very deliberate decision. There are no frames, no captions, no distractions -- just the picture, powerful and to the point.

"This is an exhibition at a commercial gallery where nothing is for sale," gallery owner Michael Foley said. "Everything will be donated to the 9/11 memorial museum."

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More than 70,000 objects now sit in the museum, a reflection of America's darkest moment that we vow to "never forget."

"You're touching and looking at objects that changed the world," Leutwyler said.

For more information, visit NatGeo.com and FoleyGallery.com.

CLICK HERE for more Eyewitness News reflections, photos and stories marking the anniversary of 9/11

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