Photo credit: 9/11 Memorial staff
Accession Number: C.2008.928.1
Dimensions: 2 in X 4 ½ in X 11 in
Dimensions (Metric): 5.08 cm X 10.16 cm X 27.94 cm
Credit Line: Gift of Kathleen and Udayan Gupta
Pair of brown leather slippers, with tassels.
Udayan Gupta heard the explosive sounds of an airplane striking the North Tower while working at home in Battery Park City, one block southwest of the World Trade Center. Even after hijacked Flight 175 hit the South Tower, he continued to believe that the disaster would be contained. Then the South Tower collapsed, shattering his windows and filling the 10th-floor apartment with smoke and debris. Wearing neither shoes nor socks, he was sheltering with other tenants in the basement when the North Tower collapsed.
When the clouds of dust dissipated, he made his way toward the Hudson River, hoping to flee the devastated area. He boarded a boat that took him to New Jersey, where he began suffering from chest pains. After receiving treatment at a hospital, he was eager to return to Manhattan to reunite with his wife. Since he had no shoes, a hospital volunteer offered him the only footwear she could find, a pair of slippers. Gupta wore them on his journey back to New York.