9/11 in focus: For five men, tragedy remains over photo of 9/11’s first casualty

Photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Friday, September 2, 2011 – Globe and Mail

NEW YORK — John Maguire still has the shirt.

Its blue fabric is laced with pale 10-year-old dust, and torn in the back where he was peppered with debris as he struggled to help carry the dead weight of a stranger he felt driven to assist.

“When the picture was out there, I figured maybe I’d hang on to this just as a memento. … It’s hard to throw something away that has that much history attached to it.

“It probably isn’t safe,” to keep that dust around, he acknowledges. “But one day, I’ll show my son.”

Continue reading

9/11 in focus: NYPD officer recalls choking cloud of dust when twin towers fell

Photo by Ruth Fremson/New York Times

Thursday, September 1, 2011 – Globe and Mail

As Richard Adamiak sought refuge, the choking cloud of dust came in with him.

“It was coating everything. It was getting everywhere,” he recalls. “But it was better than being out on the street, breathing it.”

Even within the sanctuary of the deli, it was almost impossible to draw a breath.

“Your mouth felt like someone took a bag of powdered concrete and threw it in.”

Continue reading

World Trade Center survivor escaped from wrecked tower, but never left it behind

Photo by Phil Penman

August 31, 2011 – Globe and Mail


Before making his way down the burning, crumbling North Tower, Srinath Jinadasa stopped to water his begonias.

It was the sort of calculation an engineer would make, an attempt to maintain rational thought in an irrational circumstance.

For the Port Authority engineer, the emergency had a sense of déja vu: He’d been working in that same office eight years earlier when a bomb went off in the basement of the World Trade Center.

Continue reading

The 9/11 Decade: The spontaneous snapshot that has endured in a German woman’s life

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 – Globe and Mail

She still isn’t sure what compelled her to do it. Why, standing in bewilderment with her colleagues by the Flatiron Building near 23rd Street, they chose to take pictures of each other as the Twin Towers smoked in the distance.

And as she turned toward the camera, she didn’t know what to do with the muscles in her face. Some of the books and blogs that reposted the photo called it a “Mona Lisa” look. Others wondered how she could appear so clueless to the gravity of the events unfolding behind her.

“I didn’t get what was happening. Definitely not then,” she says. “For me, the focus was much more personal – on me and my belly, and not on the Twin Towers.”

Continue reading

The 9/11 decade: A shared moment of crisis, and the anguish that remained

Monday, August 29, 2011 – Globe and Mail

OLD BRIDGE, N.J. — It wasn’t until she collapsed outside the building that the pain took over.

Throughout the 78-storey trek to the bottom of the South Tower of the World Trade Center, Donna Spera was unaware of her surroundings, the passage of time or her own condition.

She remembers blood on the stairs, but didn’t think it was hers. She recalls crawling over an elevator smashed through the stairwell, but not how her legs became lacerated. She couldn’t figure out why a friend wrapped his shirt around her hand.

But once outside, she became aware of the scorched and melted skin on her arms and back; of her gashed knees, shattered hand and bloody scalp. And that’s when Dominic Guadagnoli grabbed her.

Continue reading