More than two decades later, their voices echo over time.
Records of people trapped in the Twin Towers, on hijacked flights, or rescuers rushing headlong into inevitable doom continue to provide comfort to loved ones who still mourn their loss.
Many have been preserved and shared by the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks as a living memorial of their lives.
Those rumors also provided crucial insights into the events of 9/11.
They held key evidence that would later be used to secure the convictions of several terrorists, provide insights into the 9/11 Commission report, and be displayed at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
The last phone calls of 9/11 remain an incredibly moving human tribute in the face of the barbarism of that day.
A successful executive in commercial real estate, on September 11, 2001, Mr. Gartenberg had gone to clear his desk on the 86th floor of the north tower after accepting an offer for a new job.
Moments after Flight 11 struck a few floors below him at 8:45 am, he tried to catch up with his wife Jill at his office on the Upper East Side. She hadn’t arrived yet, so she called her closest friend Adam Goldman.
“Adam, there’s a fire on the floor,” Mr. Gartenberg shouted. “I’m trapped and can’t get out.”
Mr. Goldman was now watching the smoking tower on television. He would later remember that his body was shaking as he realized the danger his friend was in. He told Mr. Gartenberg to try to stay calm and find a way out.
“I can’t be calm with you, Adam – I’m afraid. Please, get me out of here.
Subsequently, Mr. Gartenberg called his company Julien J. Studley offices and reached out to 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 the second line and joined a firefighter. Help was on the way, the fireman told her.
“They’re coming for you, Jim,” he reported to Mr. Gartenberg, who was still on the other line.
Mr. Gartenberg spoke to another close friend and called a TV station to tell rescuers where he could be found. He sounded calm and assured during the media call, he didn’t want to worry the other families.
He called back his wife Jill and they decided he should quit his job and go to his mother’s house nearby.
With his office filled with smoke and heat and debris continuing to fall, Mr. Gartenberg continued to get calls from his friend, Mr. Goldman, and the human resources manager. 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 his wife how much she and their two-year-old daughter Nicole meant 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, 32, manager of IQ Financial Systems, was at work on the 83rd floor of the south tower when United Airlines Flight 175 struck at 9:03 am.
At 9:17 am, she reached an emergency worker to say she was trapped.
“Holy Mary, mother of God,” Ms. Doi said.
“There’s no one here yet, and the floor is completely engulfed. We’re on the floor and we can’t breathe and it’s very, very hot. “
She stayed on the line for the next four minutes while the 9/11 operator tried to keep her calm.
“I’m going to die, right?” Ms. Doi asked.
“No, no, no,” the operator said.
“I’m going to die,” Ms. Doi replied.
“Madam, say your prayers,” the operator says, in tapes that were released in 2006 after being used as evidence in the terrorism trial of 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui.
“Oh, God, it’s so hot. I’m burning, ”Ms. Doi said.
Ms. Doi’s voice went silent soon after, as the operator continued talking to her for another 20 minutes. She repeated Ms. Doi’s name over and over again.
“I don’t know if she’s unconscious or just out of breath, but they seem to be unconscious and snoring,” the operator said.
“The line is dead now. They hung up. The line is now dead. “
Orio Palmer was the deputy head of Battalion 7 on 9/11 and was among the thousands of first responders who made their way to the site of the Twin Towers to respond to the attacks.
Mr. Palmer, a 45-year-old marathon runner and qualified engineer, managed to fix a broken elevator and take it to the 41st floor.
From there, the married father of three led a team of firefighters into the impact zone on the 78th floor, using his exceptional fitness to climb 37 floors carrying his 50-pound firefighting gear, all the while. transmitting to the command center what he was seeing.
According to the 9/11 Commission report, Palmer and colleagues managed to rescue people trapped in an elevator just seconds before the tower collapsed at 9:59 am.
He boldly reported what he was seeing to colleagues on the radio in a calm, confident voice, describing seeing scores of civilian deaths and casualties and reassuring survivors rushing down the stairs.
“I didn’t feel the fear, I didn’t feel the panic,” Mr. Palmer’s wife Debbie would later say.
“When the tape is released to the world, people will feel that everyone has done their job fearlessly and selflessly.”
Mr. Palmer’s brother Stephen recounted the 2009 documentary 9/11: Phone calls from people trapped in the towers: “Anyone who was injured or dying, knowing that someone was able to get up there, knew there was a way out.
“For the people who were there on impact, I can only imagine that it must have been a bit of a euphoria or euphoria … just to see it and realize that there is some hope here thanks to this guy who has just invented here. “
Cee Cee Lyles
A United Airlines Flight 93 flight attendant, 33-year-old CeeCee Lyles, phoned her husband Lorne from a cellphone from the back of the cabin after the hijackers hacked into the cockpit and stabbed several passengers.
The couple had met on the job as police officers in Fort Pierce, Florida, and when they married in May 2000 they both had two children from previous relationships.
After six years as a law enforcement officer, Ms. Lyles decided to follow her dream of becoming a flight attendant in October 2000.
Initially unable to contact her husband, Mrs. Lyles left him a message.
“Hi baby, baby you have to listen to me carefully. I’m on a plane that has been hijacked, I’m calling from the plane.
“I want to tell you that I love you. Please tell my children that I love them very much and that I’m so sorry, baby.
“I don’t know what to say. There are three guys, they hijacked the plane, we turned around and I heard that there are planes that flew into the World Trade Center.
“I hope to see your face again, baby. I love you.”
A few minutes later he called again, and this time Mr. Lyles answered.
Mr. Lyles told The Associated Press in 2018 that they prayed together.
“Tell the kids I love them. We are preparing to do it now, ”she told him, probably referring to the passengers and crew preparing to rush out the cockpit door to stop the terrorists from reaching their target.
“It’s happening,” he said.
His last call was made sometime after 9:28 am. The plane crashed at 10:03 in a field east of Pittsburgh in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
A former Navy pilot, Bryan Sweeney called his wife Julie Sweeney Roth from United Flight 175 that left Boston that morning for Los Angeles.
Ms. Sweeney Roth, a teacher, was at work on the morning of 9/11 and was withdrawn from her classroom to receive the news 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 made from a phone in the back.
“Jules, this is Brian. Look, I’m on a plane that’s been hijacked. If things don’t go well and don’t go well, I just want you to know that I absolutely love you.
“I want you to do good, go have fun. The same goes for my parents and everyone, and I love you totally, and I’ll see you when you arrive, ”Mr. Sweeney told his wife just before the plane hit New York’s South Tower.
Recalling hearing the recording for the first time in an interview for the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Ms. Sweeney Roth said “it was Brian.”
“I am grateful. So grateful for that message. Because, at least I know, without a shadow of a doubt, what she was thinking.
“The calm in his voice calmed me… And he’s very powerful. He made very powerful statements with that message ”.