Here at Random Thots we often call the New York Times to task. To be fair, the Times also does some wonderful work. We borrow from them today because they have written a series of 911 tributes that is beyond our meager resources to produce.
To catch her early flight on Sept. 11, Amy E. Toyen arose in Boston at 4 a.m. so she could arrive in New York City at 6:45 a.m., in plenty of time to attend the trade show in Windows on the World at 1 World Trade Center. Ms. Toyen, 24, was demonstrating a software product of her company, Thomson Financial in Boston, when her fiancé, Jeffrey Gonski, got a call at 8:58 a.m. — his caller ID showed it was her cellphone — but when he answered, no one was there.
They were engaged to be married next June 16. Mr. Gonski had met Ms. Toyen at their alma mater, Bentley College in Waltham, Mass., and had managed to pull off an elaborate proposal. Last spring he planned a vacation with her to Canada, then surprised her at the airport with a flight for two to Ireland — her favorite place. Then he stunned her again by proposing there, in a romantic locale on the Dingle Peninsula. How could she possibly have said no?
“We had just ordered her wedding dress,” said her father, Martin Toyen. “She was so happy in her life — a woman in love, who loved her job.
The one thing I will not forget was a cell phone conversation from a young Asian girl talking to her mother and complaining of the unbearable heat. Cast modesty aside, her mother said, take off your top. The girl replied, I can’t. I tried, but it’s melted into my skin and my skin comes off with it. Then the building fell.
911 is very real to me. I keep my photo ID for Building 2 on my desk. We should never forget.