9/11 -- St. Petersburg Times Special Report

Sunday, Sept. 1
  • Florida: Terror's launching pad
  • The 19 plotters and their day of terror
  • Remembering

    Monday, Sept. 2
  • When tragedy meets capitalism
  • '9/11 fatigue' is natural, mental health experts say

    Tuesday, Sept. 3
  • Coping as a kid
  • Eric Deggans: 9/11 documentary asks troubling questions about religion
  • Sept. 11 photograph exhibit opens

    Wednesday, Sept. 4
  • Millions in new funding don't guarantee security
  • Donations to local charities slow in months after attacks
  • Sept. 11 donations swamp charities
  • Bush to visit three attack sites on 9/11

    Thursday, Sept. 5
  • Attack anniversary is living history lesson
  • Trading fallback system improved
  • Future of site still beset by debate

    Friday, Sept. 6
  • Senate approves plan to allow armed pilots
  • Dream job becoming demoralizing
  • New plane doors would withstand gunfire
  • What ever happened to ... Those patriotic paint jobs?
  • The other 911
  • Consolidated for the cause

    Saturday, Sept. 7
  • In chaos, TIA tower controlled 9/11 skies
  • Congress, N.Y. reaffirm solidarity
  • Traveling can be nicer in rougher countries
  • For TIA workers, 'normal' not what it used to be
  • Airlines don't see relief over horizon
  • Terror only one blow to tourism
  • A year later, it's the home fires that burn brightly
  • Flying the flag

    Sunday, Sept. 8
  • 125 Cedar Street
  • The drama in Sarasota
  • Cautious, yes, but still traveling
  • As security increases, fervor fades
  • Rising risks
  • Finding lessons in rubble of tragedy
  • Public loss, private grief
  • Duty calls; he goes; they wait
  • Riled residents show true colors
  • Keeping her distance
  • Which way leads up?
  • For the record
  • 45 Questions
  • A lexicon of terror, post-9/11
  • Before attacks, this was the news
  • Other events on Sept. 11
  • Voice mail delivers, retains final words
  • Keeping us rolling
  • 9.11
  • How we'll view it

    Monday, Sept. 9
  • The residue of terror
  • Patriotism is more than emotion
  • What ever happened to . . .: Our religious fervor?
  • The nightmares return
  • Life has the right-of-way
  • Free to disagree
  • 'Time has not healed the pain'
  • Deputies to step up patrol for anniversary
  • Security upgrade since 9/11 slow, steady
  • Enthusiasm for PHCC's security classes dissipates
  • Teachers untangle Sept. 11 lessons
  • A bumpy year for business
  • The man who would have led Afghanistan
  • People who made the headlines

    Tuesday, Sept. 10
  • Multitude to gather to wave U.S. flags
  • Pictures evoke profound feelings
  • Attacks haven't boosted sales of cell phones
  • Schools discover ways to reflect on attacks
  • Flags still wave, but sales fall from peak
  • Three fathers lost
  • Telemarketers easing up on 9/11
  • Nuclear plant adds security layers to prevent terrorism
  • Cough, stress hinder emergency workers
  • Families of missing sit in limbo
  • Places of importance after the attacks

    Wednesday, Sept. 11
  • Remembrance and renewal
  • Flags Along the Bayshore: Tampa Remembers 9/11
  • Ways of remembering
  • A piece of paper . a blue and white truck
  • Is America ready for another attack?
  • Nation to honor victims in silence
  • Poll: Compassion remains
  • The war so far
  • Terror update
  • Attack on Iraq would test headquarters at MacDill
  • 09-11-01 Perspectives
  • Those who died in the attacks
  • Myriad rescue agencies trust their link won't fail
  • Photo gallery
  • (This Flash gallery requires the free Flash Player 5+.)

    Thursday, Sept. 12
  • Emotional service honors those who died selflessly
  • Elements of pride
  • Echo of 9/11 empties airport
  • A day full of tributes, flags and questions
  • Prayer, fellowship pull many through agonizing anniversary
  • Tributes great and small
  • Children in a changed world pause to reflect
  • Citrus recalls 9/11 with its heart
  • Marking the imponderable
  • Ministers assure that God was there that sorrowful day
  • Chime recalls a nation's losses
  • For law officers, day passes quietly
  • Residents gather to heal, remember
  • In big and small ways, our community pays tribute
  • Cities somberly mark Sept. 11
  • Patriotic display greets drivers
  • Day of grief, resolve
  • At county schools, remembrance resounds
  • Travel lags on attacks' anniversary
  • They were us
  • Americans worldwide cautious on anniversary
  • Radical Muslims discuss 'positive outcomes' of Sept. 11
  • Amid grief, Bush gives warning

  • printer version

    Voice mail delivers, retains final words

    ©Associated Press
    September 8, 2002

    NEW YORK -- She has made fragile peace with her husband's death. She knows he is gone for good. For the rest of her life, she will never see his face or touch his cheek or smell the sweat from a long day's work in the creases of his neck.

    On some days, on good days, Veronica Hynes can accept that. On other days, which sometimes bleed into many days, she cannot.

    But if she pushes a button, she can still hear his voice, more familiar to her than her own. Sounding calm but forceful. Calling her "honey" one last time. Saying he loved her. Knowing he would soon face death.

    She has played that phone message hundreds of times since Sept. 11. She has made tapes of it and saved them for her children. Like others left behind, she has found small but real solace in the voice of someone now dead.

    There is an unintended benefit in modern technology: Voice mail comforts the living.

    On Sept. 11, fire Capt. Walter Hynes waited for the sound of the beep. "Honey, it's real bad," he said into the phone just before he rolled out of Ladder Co. 13 at 85th Street and Lexington Avenue and headed downtown to the World Trade Center. The second hijacked passenger jet had just roared into the south tower.

    "I don't know if we'll make it out. I want to tell you that I love you and I love the kids."

    His wife does not listen to it as often as she used to, though now she can listen without weeping.

    "It makes me feel good," she says. "He was thinking about us in those final moments. That gives me great comfort."

    And inspires awe at the calm courage of everyday people imprisoned in wounded skyscrapers and in hijacked planes who picked up a cell phone or a desk phone or the plastic GTE receiver jammed into the airline seat in front of them, and used it to say farewell.

    Those who reached a person were blessed with chances to receive and to give comfort. But those who talked to machines left a double-edged legacy, one that simultaneously warms the heart and slices the soul.

    Of all five senses, none save smell evokes a more emotional response than hearing, researchers say. Think of the transporting power of a certain melody or the life-affirming joy of hearing a child laugh deep and hard. Then multiply it exponentially.

    "It's such a powerful, powerful thing," says radio producer Nikki Silva of the Sonic Memorial Project, a repository for audio memories of the World Trade Center. So far, the project has collected hundreds of tapes donated by the public containing everything from the sound of elevator doors closing in the 110-story towers to weddings held at Windows on the World.

    "Photographs freeze a moment. But when you hear a person's voice, they're breathing, they're alive in there," Silva says.

    Psychologist C.C. Clauss-Ehlers counsels families torn apart by Sept. 11. It is not only the sound of a loved one's voice, she says, but the circumstances under which it was recorded.

    "It is a real, live contact from someone who is no longer living," she says. "And it comes from a moment in time when that person knew the world was coming to an end for them."

    Melissa Hughes was trapped on the 101st floor.

    "Sean, it's me," she said to the answering machine, losing a battle against tears. "I just wanted to let you know I love you and I'm stuck in this building in New York."

    Her husband, asleep in their bed in San Francisco, never heard the phone. They had been married for one year.

    "A plane hit the building, or bomb went off. We don't know, but there's lots of smoke and I just wanted you to know that I love you always. Bye."

    After months of recounting their losses in media interviews, many relatives can no longer bear to reopen their wounds. Messages for Sean Hughes left by the Associated Press went unanswered.

    The family of Krishna Moorthy no longer speaks of his message.

    Moorthy was a technology consultant at Fiduciary Trust in the south tower. Eleven minutes after the first plane struck, he left a message for his wife. He would call again when he got downstairs.

    The call never came. On the night of Sept. 11, his name appeared on the admitting sheet of a New Jersey hospital. But Moorthy never escaped the trade center and no one has been able to explain how his name got on that list.

    There is one Silva says she hopes to never forget. A husband, in one of four hijacked jets, left a message for his wife.

    "He was saying 'I want you to be happy, I want you to carry on,' " Silva recalls.

    Then in a sweet and loving voice, he signed off.

    "See you when you get here."


    Back to main page
    Related coverage
  • Keeping us rolling
  • 9.11
  • How we'll view it