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PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

Six Months Later: The WTC Attack

Aired March 9, 2002 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Next on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS: six months after the attacks on America, survivors dealing with life and death.

One of the first engine companies to arrive on the scene.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAT ZODA, FIREFIGHTER, ENGINE COMPANY SEVEN: If we were two more floors up, we would have been dead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: A New York City fire official who watched his boss and best friend walk into the jaws of danger.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE MOSIELLO, FIRE MARSHAL, NEW YORK CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT: I kept trying to reach him, and I got no response.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: A woman trapped under tons of rubble for 27 hours.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GENELLE GUZMAN, NEW YORK PORT AUTHORITY: I'm going to see myself slowly dying.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: And a reunion with the rescuers who saved her life.

Plus, new life in the face of death: the brave women who lost their husbands struggling to raise children after 9/11.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The hardest thing about this is that he isn't here for his children.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Their stories now on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. PAULA ZAHN, HOST: Hello and welcome to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. I'm Paula Zahn.

It is a date etched deeply in the country's memory. September 11: A day that divided our experience into life before the terrorist attacks and life after. Monday marks six months since that dark day. So in this hour, we take a special look at a few of the heroes and survivors and how they are getting on with their lives today.

We begin with CNN correspondent Gary Tuchman.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For New York City firefighter Damien Vancleaf, the second Tuesday of September started as a routine morning.

DAMIEN VANCLEAF, FIREFIGHTER, ENGINE COMPANY SEVEN: I was just coming in to work. I had just relieved someone else. They went home, and just doing what we do every morning.

TUCHMAN: He and the other firefighters of Engine Company Seven reporting for duty that day had no idea of the drama about to unfold. Their station stood in the shadow of the World Trade Center.

VANCLEAF: The lieutenants' test was coming up in October, so we were up in the room studying when the run for the gas leak came in.

TUCHMAN: While out investigating that gas leak, they noticed something that was anything but routine.

VANCLEAF: I heard a vibration. Then we all looked up and saw the plane. Something was wrong. We -- you never see a plane in downtown Manhattan, especially that low. I could see almost every detail on the plane. That's why I knew it was way too low.

TUCHMAN: The firefighters watched in shock as the plane slammed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

VANCLEAF: By the time we actually realized what was going on, we pretty much threw all our gear on the rig, and we started to respond down to the Trade Center.

TUCHMAN: Engine Seven was one of the first companies to arrive on the scene.

VANCLEAF: I remember taking an extra couple of seconds before running in to make sure we had everything and make sure we were ready to go, because this was going to be a big one.

TUCHMAN: Genelle Guzman was working on the 645th floor for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey when she felt the building shake.

GUZMAN: I was scared. I mean, the building shake, and they say the airplane hit the building. But I had no idea where, where the building was hit.

TUCHMAN: The North Tower was hit between the 96th and 103rd floors. While the tower blazed above, the 30-year-old Trinidad native was told by Port Authority officials to stay put.

Watching the horrific scene from Fire Department headquarters across the East River in Brooklyn, New York City Fire Chief Pete Ganci and his right-hand man, Steve Mosiello.

STEVE MOSIELLO, FIRE MARSHAL, NEW YORK CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT: We saw the smoke billowing, the fire, and that people were in trouble. People out there were definitely in trouble.

TUCHMAN: They raced across the Brooklyn Bridge in Chief Ganci's car. Also with them, Danny Nigro, then the fire chief of operations.

DANNY NIGRO, CHIEF, NEW YORK CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT: I said to Pete, "This is going to be the worst day we've ever had." And little did I know it was even worse than I imagined.

TUCHMAN: The three made it to the scene in less than 10 minutes. Ganci immediately set up a command post on the ramp to a garage near the North Tower.

MOSIELLO: We were standing with the chief and we heard somebody yell, you know, "There's another plane." I didn't see it immediately. Then it came into range of my hearing, and I heard it, and it sounded louder and louder and louder. And there it was, went right into the building, into Tower Two.

Now we have a real problem on our hands. We have two buildings hit by planes, thousands and thousands of people trapped.

TUCHMAN: One of those still trapped inside the North Tower, Genelle Guzman. She was making frantic calls for advice on what to do.

GUZMAN: I started crying and made phone calls to my family and stuff. And I told them, OK, I'm just waiting on instructions to get out. And I told my boyfriend, I said, "Well, I'm leaving."

ROGER MCMILLEN, GUZMAN'S BOYFRIEND: So I told her, "You know what? Just meet me outside Century 21." That's across the street from the World Trade Center. And I left.

TUCHMAN: Moments later, Guzman tried to call again. She got his cell phone voicemail and left this final message.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

GUZMAN: Honey, I'm still inside of the building. I don't know, we have to wait until somebody come and get us out, OK? I'll try and call you back again. Bye. I love you.

RECORDED VOICE OF OPERATOR: End of message.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

TUCHMAN: Downstairs, the men of Engine Seven had arrived to a scene of horror.

ZODA: They was just all burnt, everything was burnt. There were people on fire that we literally put them out, but we just had to leave, we had to go head up. I mean, they were just -- I don't know, everything was just burnt.

TUCHMAN: They began making their way up the stairs of the North Tower with other firefighters. Then, the unthinkable.

VANCLEAF: While we were operating up on the 21st floor, you know, there was a sick vibration.

TUCHMAN: That vibration was the South Tower collapsing next door.

VANCLEAF: After that vibration -- and it seemed like, you know, it was just something that wasn't right, and eventually I heard the order to vacate, to back out, to evacuate the building.

TUCHMAN: Outside, in the chaos of the South Tower's collapse, Chief Ganci and his executive assistant, Steve Mosiello, had somehow managed to escape.

MOSIELLO: And we all retreated into the basement of Two World Financial. The basement was full of dust. You couldn't breathe. We couldn't find a way to get out. Everybody who was in there, we finally found a staircase, and we all got out.

NIGRO: When all of the people came out of the basement of the World Financial Center, out of the parking garage, and Pete sent everyone north to put a command post in a safe location, a safer location.

TUCHMAN: That moment would forever haunt Steve Mosiello. Pete Ganci had sent him away and then walked into danger.

MOSIELLO: This specific day, I felt that I should be as close to him as possible, because there was a lot going on.

TUCHMAN: Just moments after Chief Ganci radioed Mosiello his location, the North Tower fell.

MOSIELLO: I was thinking the worst. I was honestly thinking the worst at that point.

TUCHMAN: When PEOPLE IN THE NEWS continues, dealing with the disastrous aftermath.

MOSIELLO: I kept trying to reach him, and I got no response.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Engine Seven was one of the first companies to arrive on the scene. Some of the firefighters had made it up as far as the 31st floor of the North Tower, the first tower hit in the terrorist attack. When the South Tower collapsed next door, the order came to evacuate.

ZODA: We just got to the lobby, and there was no one there. It looked like the end of the world.

TUCHMAN: Genelle Guzman, a 30-year-old mother and administrative assistant for the Port Authority, was not far behind. After waiting for almost an hour, she decided to make her way down from her office on the 64th floor, down to her boyfriend waiting for her outside.

Only 13 flights to go.

GUZMAN: Just like, boom. And we fell to the ground. And then everything started crumbling faster and heavier.

TUCHMAN (on camera): So were you there when the second building collapsed?

MCMILLEN: I saw the antenna actually coming down.

TUCHMAN: So you thought she was dead.

MCMILLEN: Definitely.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Coordinating the rescue efforts outside, the highest-ranking uniformed officer of the fire department, Chief Peter Ganci, three decades on the force, father of three. Pete Ganci was not only Steve Mosiello's boss, he was his best friend.

CHRIS GANCI, PETER GANCI'S SON: It was a marriage. I didn't want to make my mom jealous or anything, but it definitely was. He spent more time with my father than we did.

TUCHMAN: Ganci had helped Mosiello find a home in his neighborhood, right across the street. The two worked in each other's houses, they played golf together. The usual bet, a dime a hole. Their days often began hours before sunup. They would then drive into work together.

MOSIELLO: I would get up early in the morning, 4:15, put the coffee on, open the back door of my deck, go take my shower, do my routine. And I'd come down, and he'd be sitting there waiting for me. He'd be drinking his coffee and smoking and doing whatever we did in the morning.

TUCHMAN: But September 11 was no ordinary day. Chief Ganci wasn't even scheduled to work that morning. He had been called for jury duty.

MOSIELLO: We were passing one of the parkways that would have brought us towards the courts. I said, you know, "Do you want to go to jury duty and make an appearance?" He said, "Steve, I have so many meetings today, I -- you know, we just can't get there today."

TUCHMAN: That morning would be the last one they would spend together. After Ganci ordered Mosiello away to get backup, the fire chief began walking toward the debris of the South Tower's collapse.

Moments later, the North Tower fell, burying him under four feet of rubble.

Both towers were gone, and so was Steve Mosiello's best friend.

MOSIELLO: I kept trying to reach him, and I got no response. It was so eerie, because the chaos of radios at a fire scene, there's always conversations going on. And after that building came down, you heard absolutely nothing. Nothing at all.

TUCHMAN: Genelle Guzman remembers the silence too. She had dropped 13 floors, surviving the collapse of the North Tower. But her head was pinned between two concrete pillars, her legs trapped in a staircase.

GUZMAN: I waited to, you know, to see if I hear anybody call out or anything. And I heard nothing.

TUCHMAN: The light peeking through the concrete eventually gave way to darkness.

GUZMAN: I think I was going to die. Just when I saw that it became dark and no one came, and I'm not hearing any noises nowhere around, so I think, I'm not going to make it, I'm going to die here. I'm going to see myself slowly die here.

TUCHMAN: By dusk, one by one, the firefighters of Engine Seven began to find their way back to home base. The entire team had escaped the North Tower with just minutes to spare before the building came crashing down.

DENNIS TARDIO, CAPTAIN, ENGINE COMPANY SEVEN: You know, everything happened so quick. I mean, that building came down, I think, literally in 10 seconds. And I was able to run maybe one block.

TUCHMAN: Engine Seven escaped without losing a single person.

ZODA: If we were one more floor, if we were two more floors, what would have, you know, what would have happened to us? I said, Sir, I believe if we were two more floors up, we would have been dead.

TUCHMAN: Pete Ganci was not as fortunate. Steve Mosiello helped recover his friend's body from the rubble. It was up to Mosiello to give the Ganci family the bad news.

MOSIELLO: Here I am, his best friend, his closest friend, his aide, his executive assistant, his driver, everybody, and I'm standing before them and he's not. TUCHMAN: When PEOPLE IN THE NEWS continues, Genelle Guzman's dark hours trapped beneath tons of concrete.

GUZMAN: I asked God to show me a miracle and show me a sign that I'm going to get out of here today and not the next day.

TUCHMAN: And the painful struggles of moving on.

MOSIELLO: I play that day over every day that I'm awake, that day gets played out in my mind.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TUCHMAN (voice-over): The morning after, smoke billowed from the site that used to be the World Trade Center. The haggard firemen of Engine Seven joined in the arduous, round-the-clock dig for victims.

Trapped under tons of debris, Genelle Guzman had all but given up. She prayed and drifted in and out of sleep.

GUZMAN: And the next thing after I woke up, and I started to pray again. I asked God to show me a miracle, you know, show me a sign that I'm going to get out of here today and not the next day. And it so happened that I heard noises, like people moving stuff. And I yelled out, and someone answered back.

TUCHMAN: Twenty-seven hours after the North Tower's collapse, Guzman made contact with rescuers.

GUZMAN: And then I took a piece of concrete and I knocked the stair above me. And then they heard the knocking, and then they started to come closer. And then I put my hands through a little crack in the ceiling, like, in the wall, and I felt the person hold my hand, the fireman found my hand, and he said, "I got you." And I said, "Thank God."

TUCHMAN: Her legs were crushed, her eyes swollen shut, but Genelle Guzman was clear of the concrete, the dust, the darkness. She would be the last person pulled alive from the wreckage.

MCMILLEN: The phone rang. "Roger McMillen?" I said, "Yes." "We need you to come to Bellvue Hospital. We found Genelle Guzman." I was, like, "OK," and I hung up. But then it hit me, what are you calling me for? Is this good or bad news?

TUCHMAN (on camera): Is she alive or dead?

MCMILLEN: Am I going to view a dead body, or a living body? So...

TUCHMAN: So you didn't even know.

MCMILLEN: I didn't know.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): At the hospital, McMillen did not immediately recognize his girlfriend, her face distorted from swelling.

(on camera): What did you say to her?

MCMILLEN: I cried. We both cried.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): On the Saturday following the attacks, the New York City Fire Department and the Gancis laid the head of their family to rest. Along the 15-mile procession from the church to the graveyard, civilians and firefighters lined the route, paying their respects to a leader, a neighbor, a best friend.

MOSIELLO: I miss him. I miss him a lot. We were close. You know, I told his wife, I said, you know, "You'll never understand this, but Pete and I loved each other." We were -- and we never said it. But we just had that feeling for each other that men get, and we were real close. Wasn't anything we wouldn't do for each other.

TUCHMAN: Several of Engine Seven's firefighters report daily to ground zero to help in the grim recovery effort.

DANIEL CARUSO, FIREFIGHTER, ENGINE COMPANY SEVEN: What goes through my mind is, Who is this? Who could this be? You know. I lost quite a few close friends, you know, and I think to myself, Is this one of my friends, you know, close friends that I've worked hand in hand with?

TUCHMAN: The usual bravado of the fire station is replaced, at least to some degree, by another feeling.

VANCLEAF: I feel guilty every day, every morning, every -- you know, I'm always -- I always feel guilty about it. I don't know why, I guess that's part of surviving something like that.

DR. JOHN GREENE, PSYCHOLOGIST, BOSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT: Survivor guilt is when you take on more responsibility than -- or you think you had more control than you had. Oftentimes the person will feel that he didn't do enough, or that he did something wrong, or he had some ability to change the course of events.

TUCHMAN: Engine Seven's nickname used to be The Magnificent Seven. After September 11, someone wrote a moniker on one of the fire trucks, Lucky Seven.

VANCLEAF: Right now, I don't feel lucky. I mean, after that day, somebody, I think, somebody jumped up there and wrote that as -- you know, as the way we felt that evening. But every day since then, don't -- it's a great thing for Seven Engine, but the department wasn't lucky that day.

TUCHMAN: Though Genelle Guzman fell from the 13th floor, she does feel lucky. GUZMAN: It's just like, it's so amazing, you know, to be here, sitting in here, not in a hospital bed, coming to the gym. It's a great feeling.

TUCHMAN: After three surgeries and five weeks in the hospital, Guzman continues her fight to grow strong. Though she'll require a brace to walk, Genelle perseveres with grueling physical therapy twice a week.

But she has an eye toward the future.

(on camera): Before you -- this all happened to you, what were a couple of your hobbies?

GUZMAN: Dancing. I used to go to a lot of parties.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): She hopes to dance again, with Roger at their wedding. The two got engaged on November 7.

GUZMAN: I'm just so thankful to be here. I can see my life in a completely different direction. I just want to have a family, be close to my family, and, you know, just give praise and thanks for just being here.

TUCHMAN: Chief Ganci's family struggles to heal. In their sorrow, solace in a heroic legacy.

GANCI: Would I want my father here to spend time with, to talk to? Of course. You know, but he played his part that day. He was a true hero. There's not that many times you can go around and say that your father was a real all-American hero.

TUCHMAN: Steve Mosiello is doing his best to cope. Though he now drives alone to the fire department, he still gets up at 4:15, and he still puts on the coffee, and he still unlocks his door.

MOSIELLO: There is no time I don't look over at his house and think about him, think about his family, and that's day in and day out, every day. It's getting easier. I'm sure it's getting easier for them. But it will never, ever be easy.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Pete Ganci was just one of the 343 firefighters lost on September 11. The attacks affected the entire firefighting community. Rescuers from around the country converged on New York to pitch in. And two of those rescuers found Genelle Guzman in the debris. The didn't know if she survived until much later.

The story of their reunion when PEOPLE IN THE NEWS returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: Now back to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS with Paula Zahn.

PAULA ZAHN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. We continue with stories of survival, six months after the attacks of September 11.

You just heard the story of Genelle Guzman, the last person pulled alive from the wreckage of the World Trade Center. For months, she didn't even know who rescued her from the rubble. Here again, Gary Tuchman.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): She survived a choking avalanche of concrete and dust, buried alive in total darkness. Genelle Guzman lay wedged in the rubble for 27 hours, until rescuers finally heard her cries.

On the scene, Brian Buchanan, a former Marine, and Rick Cushman, National Guardsman. They had rushed down to New York from Boston on September 11 to help with the rescue efforts. Both were attached to the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. Guzman was pulled from the wreckage, fire still burning below her. She was found near two missing firefighters, both of them dead.

RICK CUSHMAN, RESCUE WORKER: When she came out, I never got her name. I never knew who she was, didn't know if she made it.

TUCHMAN: Just before the rescue, Rick Cushman took these pictures from Ground Zero, including this shot, showing the very pile of rubble that covered Genelle Guzman.

Months later, while watching our original report on CNN, Rich Cushman and Brian Buchanan learned of Guzman's fate. Exactly 100 days after the attack, we reunited Genelle Guzman with her two rescuers.

BRIAN BUCHANAN, RESCUE WORKER: When I saw her on the TV, you know, going through the exercises, I just about lost it. It was a beautiful thing. It really was, and it's even better sitting here with you now.

TUCHMAN: The rescuers filled in some of the blanks in Guzman's shaky memory.

CUSHMAN: The reason you were found was actually because they spotted a fireman's jacket, and the basic rules are firefighters take care of their own, so a firefighter went up to get him and that's how you were found.

BUCHANAN: Just as she got to me, she sort of opened her eyes and looked up and, you know, kind of asked me if she was out yet, and I said, you know, you're just about there. You're good to go, you know, just hold on just a few more minutes and you'll be all right.

TUCHMAN: And, Genelle, do you remember saying that?

GUZMAN: Yes, I can remember saying that.

TUCHMAN: Do you remember that face?

GUZMAN: No, I can't remember the face. BUCHANAN: I had less hair.

GUZMAN: I can't remember the face because, I mean as much as I opened my eyes, the dust in my eyes, I could barely see with the glare.

CUSHMAN: Her eyes were shut most of the time.

TUCHMAN: Now Genelle Guzman can see her rescuers clearly. They are moved and amazed by her survival.

BUCHANAN: You have got to be the luckiest person I have ever seen in my life.

TUCHMAN: Lucky and grateful. After hours of horror and months of recovery, Genelle Guzman expressed heartfelt gratitude to her rescuers.

GUZMAN: They're my angels. To me they are angels to me because as much as I want to forget it, I know I can't. It's going to live in my memory for the rest of my life.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Coming up, after the attacks on America, raising new babies born after 9/11, mothers coping in the wake of tragedy, when PEOPLE IN THE NEWS continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: Now back to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS with Paula Zahn.

ZAHN: Her husband Todd Beamer became a national hero, for his effort to stop the hijackers of United Flight 93. Now, Lisa Beamer is perhaps one of the best-known faces directly touched by September 11. The single mom refuses to dwell on the tragedy. She fights to keep hope alive for her two young boys and a newborn daughter her husband never got to see. Here's Sharon Collins.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHARON BEAMER: When Morgan came out, she had this full head of dark hair and she's unmistakable Todd's daughter.

SHARON COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): For mom, Lisa Beamer, choosing a name for newborn Morgan Kay was an easy decision.

BEAMER: Well, Morgan is Todd's middle name and Kay is my middle name, so we took the best of both of us and put them together.

COLLINS: On January 9, Beamer gave birth to a seven-pound baby girl. It was her third child. Son, David, is four and little brother Drew is two. But this delivery was different for Beamer.

BEAMER: It was a poignant difference between what it was like to bring home David and Drew and what it was like to bring home Morgan. There was a big hole there.

COLLINS: What's missing is husband and father, Todd. Todd Beamer was 32 when he died on September 11, a victim of the terrorist attack and crash of United Flight 93. He apparently died a hero, overthrowing the hijackers, and possibly thwarting an air crash into the White House or Capitol.

BEAMER: He did what Todd would normally do and he took some action. I thought he remained calm, and I thought he maintained his faith, and I thought he had the family in his mind.

COLLINS: For Todd and Lisa Beamer, life revolved around family and religion. The couple met and dated at Wheaton College, a coed Christian school northwest of Chicago. In 1994, they married and started a family in New Jersey. Todd taught Sunday school. He was also a top sales performer for Oracle Corporation. Last year, he earned a five-day trip to Italy with his wife. The couple had just returned home on Monday, September 10.

BEAMER: We came home and Todd unpacked from Italy and repacked to go to San Francisco, and went to bed, never knowing what the next day would hold.

COLLINS: Minutes before United Flight 93 crashed into the countryside Todd Beamer called an air phone operator.

BEAMER: He told the operator that he and some other people on the flight were deciding to jump on the hijacker with the bomb strapped around his waist, and the last thing the operator heard Todd say at 10:00 a.m., fifteen minutes into the call, was "are you ready? Let's roll."

COLLINS: Familiar words for Lisa Beamer.

BEAMER: That was a phrase that he used all the time, especially around our boys.

COLLINS: On September 20, President Bush saluted Lisa Beamer in his address to Congress. He later made Todd Beamer's last words a battle cry to the nation.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will no doubt face new challenges, but we have our marching orders. My fellow Americans, let's roll.

COLLINS: And Lisa Beamer has taken her own stand against terrorism. On October 19, she retraced her husband's path. She took the same flight, Newark to San Francisco he did just 38 days earlier. Her symbolic trip gained national attention.

Lisa Beamer says comforting others helps her carry on. She keeps busy with speeches, television appearances and work for the Todd M. Beamer Foundation, a charity that helps children who lost parents in the September 11 attacks.

But for Lisa Beamer, the most important thing is to make sure memories of Todd, husband, father, and hero, never fade.

BEAMER: And I kept this good collection of all the chronicles of things that have happened since September 11. My most important thing for now is to keep his memory alive for them.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Lisa Beamer is just one of some 50 women widowed by the terrorist attacks, who have given birth since 9/11. And People Magazine recently brought 31 of them together for a poignant cover story, two of their stories now. Here again, Sharon Collins.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARAHEEN ASHRAFI: His name is Fasad (ph) and Fasad it means name of a star, name of a scholar.

COLLINS (voice over): He was born by Cesarean section on Thursday, September 13, 2001 to Baraheen Ashrafi, a widow for just two days.

ASHRAFI: It's the first time for me all this, especially eyes. He looks like his dad.

COLLINS: Mohammed Chaudiri (ph) left for work that Tuesday in early September and never came home.

ASHRAFI: He was working at Windows on the World. It was 106th floor. He was banquet server over there.

COLLINS: Though he had a Master's Degree in physics from his native, Bangladesh, Mohammed put in long hours at the towering restaurant to provide for his wife and six-year-old daughter Fahina (ph).

ASHRAFI: That morning, we prayed together, and he kissed Fahina. Fahina was sleeping. It was 5:00 in the morning.

COLLINS: it was a marriage arranged by their families nine years ago, but for the 19-year-old bride, a true love slowly grew.

ASHRAFI: It took time to get to know him, how is he, but for him he said that when I saw you first, when first I saw your picture, I fall in love. So you know for me, but for me, I was so lucky to have somebody like him. Be careful Fahina.

COLLINS: Life as a single parent has not been an easy adjustment.

ASHRAFI: It is hard, hard but no choice. I am trying to get used to a normal life, because I have two children that I have to raise up them by myself.

COLLINS: The traditional garb that Baraheem wears as a practicing Muslim has drawn some unwanted attention, making things even harder. ASHRAFI: When I started going out (inaudible) some people there, you know there is hate look. When they were looking at me, I didn't -- I just ignored those. But when I went to Manhattan (inaudible) they were teasing at me. That, you know, my heart was like you know just realize you know don't tease at me. Just realize that what's going on. They don't know what's going on to me.

COLLINS: Despite the intolerance she's faced, Baraheem is determined to raise her children differently.

ASHRAFI: Just respect, respect all other religion people. You practice yours. She'll practice hers, but respect each other's religion. That's the way I want my son, my daughter to grow up like that.

COLLINS: And to grow up knowing their father. But the hard part may be what to say to Fahad.

ASHRAFI: When first he was talking, you know, I show him the picture. I show him the picture. Definitely he's going to ask me "where is daddy?"

COLLINS: Where's daddy, is a question that Andrea Russin knew she would have to face, when she came home to her two-year-old son Alec last September.

ANDREA RUSSIN: Beddie-bye, is that what you're singing?

COLLINS: She had given birth to his sisters, Ariella (ph) and Olivia just four days after 9/11.

RUSSIN: I was hoping that Steve would be, that we would find him and I would be able to bring these babies to him.

COLLINS: After the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, Andrea's husband Steve managed to escape, descending 104 flights from his Cantor Fitzgerald office. But any hope Andrea had this time around was shattered by pictures she saw in the hospital after her twins were born.

RUSSIN: I was very upset, and I started screaming. One of the nurses said that I should write down what's going on, and I should write down my feelings. The only thing that I could think to write down was how I was going to explain this to Alec. "Alec, daddy loves everything about you, and everything he did with you. Please always know this."

COLLINS: The result is, "Where's Daddy" a 20-page children's book that Andrea hopes to publish in honor of her late husband.

RUSSIN: I generalized it to what all the children needed to know, not graphic, but that their daddy's worked in a very special place, in a special city.

COLLINS: The news that Andrea would be having twins took Steve Russin by surprise. RUSSIN: He was very, very nervous because he knew that he was really good with one child, but it didn't take him very long to get used to the idea and get excited by the idea. We're very lucky that we have on a videotape, him talking about the girls.

STEVE RUSSIN: Hey Alec, can I ask you another question? Can I interrupt for a moment? How many babies are we having?

ALEC RUSSIN: Two.

RUSSIN: That's going to mean so much to the girls when they grow up.

COLLINS: And for Andrea, her baby girls themselves area living legacy of Steve.

RUSSIN: Olivia looks just like him as a baby. When you see Steve's baby picture, he had such a round face, and round eyes, and she looks exactly like him as a baby. Ariela has Steven's activity level. She's ready to get out there and start playing ball tomorrow. She's him physically. He was full of life. That's what I kept saying, I can't believe that somebody that's so full of life could possibly die. He brought life to this house.

COLLINS: Now the new lives in the house are providing some solace.

RUSSIN: Having the babies keeps me busy. Many times, it keeps my mind occupied so that I'm thinking about them and thinking about what needs to be done and I'm distracted from what reality has given us. On some days, it's very difficult not to have Steve here to help me raise these children.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: The cleanup at Ground Zero is expected to be completed by early summer, but beyond the cleanup, what next? Well, nearly everyone agrees that some kind of memorial needs to be included on the site.

The debate is already being shaped by political, economic, and emotional pressure. A recent exhibit in New York City invited architects from all over the world to come up with their own ideas for rebuilding the future. Here are those visions and the people behind them.

MEL CHIN: The Boeing 767 full of fuel and the blood of innocence, arching sharply in the blue sky over Manhattan on September 11, 2001, ended the reign of the skyscraper.

KAS OOSTERHUIS ASSOCIATES: Destroying things is naturally much easier than synthesizing things. How can we as architects appeal to people's fascinations by building things? MAX PROTETCH, DIRECTOR, MAX PROTETCH GALLERY: The show is a conceptual show, the ideas are not meant to be built because first of all, there's no program. We don't know exactly what's going to be needed or permitted on the site, and there's no client.

FREI OTTO: "Dear Max: When you asked me to design a new World Trade Center, I said 'no, I can't' because it is too early to make final decisions, but you convinced me to give at least my thoughts sketching. A new tower of Babel is not needed, but I think that there must remain a sign for memory.

MARWAN AL-SAYED: Beauty is the word that kept staring me in the face, beauty a form of sublime beauty I felt is the only possible response that could begin the process of healing and also signal to the world the ability of creation to overcome death, destruction, and the evil acts of men.

After much internal debate, I have concluded that to not build on this site, despite the scope of the tragedy and the human loss and pain that occurred on that day, would be a form of defeat.

KRUEK & SEXTON: This proposal is an affirmation of life, the vitality of the city and of our country's most fundamental values. The exterior of the building is a changing and ever flexible skin, reflecting the freedom and the dynamic strength of America.

PROTECH: This is very possibly the first time in the history of the United States that the American public understood the symbolic, economic, political importance of architecture.

CHIN: The question is not which building to build to replace the shelters of the past, but which direction to take building for the future.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: It may be years before we know what will permanently stand in the place of the destroyed World Trade Center towers, but for one month beginning on Monday, two powerful beams, located just west of Ground Zero, will shine upwards over Lower Manhattan. This Tribute of Lights, as it is being called, is made up of some 88 searchlights that will be powered up every night in memory of the victims and the heroes of 9/11.

And that wraps it up for this special edition of PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Paula Zahn, and please join us again next week for a look at the life of the actor who could win back-to-back Oscars, real life Hollywood tough guy, Russell Crow. And be sure to join me for "AMERICAN MORNING" Monday through Friday at 7:00 a.m. Eastern. Until then, have a great week. Thanks again for joining us.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com





 
 
 
 


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