Triumph and trust at Ground Zero

Michael worked on the 78th floor in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Roselle had been taking her morning snooze below Michael’s desk when the tower was hit by hijacked American Airlines flight 11, and began to violently rock and sway. Roselle was up immediately—on alert to be ready to follow commands. Before Michael left his office, he quickly called his wife to tell her that there had been an explosion, and he would be home as soon as he possibly could. He didn’t know what had happened, but knew that something serious had occurred. His wife, after their quick phone, call turned on the TV; at that point she actually had access to more information than Michael or anyone else in the Tower.

As Michael opened the door to the stairwell, the first thing he noticed was the stench of burning jet fuel wafting down from above. By the time they made their way down approximately thirty floors in the stairwell, the second plane had slammed into the South Tower. No one in his stairwell knew this at the time. He felt people moving up the stairway, and heard applause for the firefighters ascending to the horror above. He clapped them on the back as they passed, very concerned for their safety, and Roselle “kissed” them giving these heroes her special love in only a way she could.

This is a memory about which Michael still feels very emotional.