Skip to content
“I am so grateful for this message”: the latest calls made by the victims of September 11 still comfort their grieving loved ones

Twenty years later, their voices echo through time.

Recordings of people trapped in the Twin Towers, on hijacked flights, or rescue workers rushing headlong into inevitable fate continue to comfort loved ones who still mourn their loss.

Many have been preserved and shared by family members of the victims of the terrorist attacks as a living memorial of their lives.

These voices also provided crucial information about the events of September 11.

They held key evidence that would later be used to secure convictions from several terrorists, would offer information for the 9/11 Commission report, and would be on display at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

The latest calls to September 11 remain an incredibly moving human tribute in the face of the barbarism of that day.

Jim gartenberg

A successful commercial real estate executive, on September 11, 2001, Mr. Gartenberg went to empty his office on the 86th floor of the North Tower after accepting the offer of a new job.

James Gartenberg spent his last hour trapped in the North Tower on the phone with his wife Jill, best friend, colleagues and the media

(9/11 Living Memorial)

Moments after Flight 11 struck a few floors below him at 8.45am, he tried to reach his wife Jill at his Upper East Side office. She hadn’t arrived yet, so he called his closest friend Adam Goldman.

“Adam, there is fire on the ground,” Mr. Gartenberg shouted. “I am trapped and I cannot get out.”

Mr. Goldman was now watching the smoking tower on television. He will later remember that his body had shaken, as he realized the danger his friend was in. He told Mr. Gartenberg to try to stay calm and find a way down.

“I can’t stay calm with you, Adam – I’m scared. Please get me out of here.

Next, Mr. Gartenberg called the offices of his firm Julien J. Studley and contacted Senior Vice President of Human Resources Margaret Luberda.

He explained that he was trapped in his office by debris that had blocked the doors.

Ms. Luberda called the emergency services on a second line and contacted a firefighter. Help was on the way, the firefighter told him.

“They’re coming to get you Jim,” she said to Mr. Gartenberg, who was always on the other end of the phone.

9/11 victim speaks live on ABC News from North Tower

Mr Gartenberg spoke to another close friend and called a TV station to tell rescuers where he could be found. He looked calm and assertive on the media call, he didn’t want to worry the other families.

He called his wife Jill back and they agreed that she should leave work and go to her mother’s house nearby.

As his office filled with smoke and heat, and debris continued to fall, Mr. Gartenberg continued to receive calls from his friend Mr. Goldman and the head of human resources. They had seen the second plane hit the South Tower, but Mr. Gartenberg was unaware of the shocking development, and no one told him.

Mr Gartenberg hid under a desk in the reception area and spoke to his wife one last time, telling her how much she and their two-year-old daughter Nicole mean to him.

“I love you,” he told her. “I love Nicole.”

“I love you too.”

She was three months pregnant with their second child.

Melissa Doi

Melissa Doi, 32, a director at IQ Financial Systems, was at work on the 83rd floor of the South Tower when United Airlines Flight 175 struck at 9:03 a.m.

Melissa Doi’s phone call to 9/11 operator was used as evidence to convict terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui

(Living Memorial of September 11)

At 9:17 a.m., she contacted an emergency operator to tell her she was stuck.

“Holy Mary, Mother of God,” Ms. Doi said.

“There’s no one here yet, and the ground is completely swallowed up. We are on the ground and we cannot breathe and it is very, very hot.

She remained online for the next four minutes, as the 9/11 operator tried to keep her calm.

“I’m going to die, aren’t I?” Mrs. Doi asked.

“No, no, no,” said the operator.

“I’m going to die,” Ms. Doi replied.

“Madam, say your prayers,” said the operator, in tapes that were broadcast in 2006 after being used as evidence in the terrorism trial of September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui.

“Oh, my God, it’s so hot. I’m burning, ”Ms. Doi said.

Ms Doi’s voice died away soon after, as the operator continued to speak to her for an additional 20 minutes. She repeated Ms. Doi’s name over and over again.

“I don’t know if she’s unconscious or just breathless, but it looks like they’re unconscious and snoring,” the dispatcher said.

“The line is dead now. They hung up. The line is now dead.

Orio Palmer

Orio Palmer was the deputy chief of Battalion 7 on September 11 and was among thousands of first responders who marched to the Twin Towers site to respond to the attacks.

Orio Palmer’s calm and reassuring voice relayed crucial information over the radio to his fellow firefighters

(9/11 Memorial and Museum)

Mr. Palmer, a 45-year-old marathon runner and graduate engineer, managed to fix a broken elevator and bring it to the 41st floor.

From there, the married father of three led a team of firefighters to the impact zone on the 78th floor, using his exceptional physical form to climb 37 floors with his 50-pound firefighter equipment, while relaying to the center. of command what it was. seeing.

According to the 9/11 Commission report, Palmer and his colleagues managed to rescue people trapped in an elevator just seconds before the tower collapsed at 9:59 a.m.

Fire Chief Orio Palmer passes information from the Twin Towers to commanders on September 11

He courageously relayed what he was seeing to his colleagues on the radio in a calm and confident voice, describing seeing dozens of civilians dead and injured and reassuring survivors rushing up the stairs.

“I didn’t hear fear, I didn’t hear panic,” Mr. Palmer’s wife Debbie would later say.

“When the tape is released to the world, people will learn that they all did their jobs fearlessly and selflessly.”

Mr Palmer’s brother Stephen told the 2009 documentary September 11: phone calls from people trapped in the towers: “Anyone who was injured or dying, knowing that someone was able to get up there, they knew there was a way out.

“For the people who were there at impact, I can only imagine it must have been some elation or euphoria… just to see it and realize that there is some hope here thanks to this guy who just made it up here. “

CeeCee Lyles

A flight attendant on United Airlines Flight 93, CeeCee Lyles, 33, phoned her husband Lorne from a cell phone from the back of the cabin after hijackers breached the cockpit and stabbed several passengers.

CeeCee Lyles, a flight attendant on United Airlines Flight 93, spoke to her husband Lorne just before the passengers stormed the cockpit

(National Park Service)

The couple had met at work as police officers in Fort Pierce, Fla., And when they married in May 2000, they both brought in two children from previous relationships.

After six years as a law enforcement officer, Ms. Lyles decided to fulfill her dream of becoming a flight attendant in October 2000.

Initially unable to reach her husband, Ms. Lyles left him a message.

“Hi baby, baby, you have to listen to me carefully. I’m on a hijacked plane, I’m calling from the plane.

“I want to tell you that I love you. Please tell my kids that I love them very much and I’m so sorry baby.

” I do not know what to say. There are three guys, they hijacked the plane, we turned around and I heard that there were planes that had landed on the World Trade Center.

“I hope to see your face again, baby.” I love you.”

A few minutes later she called back, and this time Mr. Lyles picked up.

Mr Lyles told The Associated Press in 2018 that they prayed together.

“Tell the boys I love them. We’re getting ready to do it now, ”she told him, probably referring to the passengers and crew preparing to rush to the cockpit door to prevent the terrorists from reaching their target.

“It’s happening,” she said.

His last call was made sometime after 9:28 a.m. The plane crashed at 10:03 a.m. in a field east of Pittsburgh, Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

Bryan sweeney

Former Navy pilot Bryan Sweeney called his wife Julie Sweeney Roth from United Flight 175 which took off from Boston this morning for Los Angeles.

Bryan Sweeney phoned his wife Julie Sweeney Roth from United Airlines Flight 175 shortly before it crashed into the South Tower

(Left too early)

Ms Sweeney Roth, a teacher, was at work on the morning of September 11 and was taken out of her classroom to learn that her husband was on a plane that had been hijacked.

Back home, she found a message on their answering machine that Mr. Sweeney had written from a file phone.

“Jules, this is Brian. Listen, I’m on a hijacked plane. If things aren’t going well and things aren’t going well, I just want you to know that I absolutely love you.

Last message from flight 175 passenger Bryan Sweeney to his wife

“I want you to do good, go have a good time.” Ditto for my parents and everyone, and I totally love you, and I’ll see you when you get there, ”Mr Sweeney told his wife shortly before the plane reached the South Tower. from New York.

Recalling hearing the recording for the first time in an interview for the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Ms. Sweeney Roth said “it was so Brian”.

“I am grateful for that. So grateful for this post. Because at least I know without a shadow of a doubt what he was thinking.

“The calm in her voice calmed me… And it’s very powerful.” He made some very powerful statements with this message.


The Independent Gt