Tuesday, August 11, 2015

An American Girl

Windows on the World was the restaurant located near the very top of 1 World Trade Center - the North Tower.  One could see practically forever from the 106th and 107th floor.  It was a place to be seen in New York City. 

It was a great place to be - until it was not.  On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, Christine Olender, the Assistant General Manager at Windows on the World, was doing her job.  She was hosting a conference for the Risk Waters Group, which started with an 8:00 am breakfast and at which the first speaker was scheduled to speak at 9:00 am.  At 8:46 a.m., American Airlines Flight 11 struck the North Tower - between the 94th Floor and the 98th Floor. 

Christine Olender was thirty-nine years old when she died on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.  A Yankee Doodle Sweetheart, she had celebrated her 39th birthday on July 4, 2001.  She became the voice of her co-workers and of her guests that morning.  She placed four separate 911 calls to the Port Authority Police Department during each of which - in spite of the chaos swirling around her - she described to the officer the situation then and there confronting the people trapped in the restaurant and a job far better than I could have done of maintaining her calm irrespective of the bad news she continued to receive.  

Knowing that there was no help coming, she called her husband to tell him she loved him and their three little girls - - Emily, Sarah, and Amy.   They were deprived of the opportunity of growing up with her in their lives.  

May she remain in their hearts forever. 

-AK 


2 comments:

Judith Pack said...

Thank you for sharing this. We can never forget.

Adam Kenny said...

Thank you for the kind words. I concur with you 100% that we cannot ever forget those who were killed that day. Remembrance is our debt owed to them.