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Bellingham mother worried about son, girlfriend in New York

My morning began as usual, getting up and ready for work. My husband had the radio on, came into the bedroom where I was getting dressed and told me something was happening in NYC. I quickly turned on CNN and became extremely alarmed to find out that both the north and south towers of the WTC had been attacked.

Our son Christian had just relocated, with his girlfriend, to Brooklyn three days before and we knew they'd planned on spending their first week sightseeing in Manhattan. Unfortunately he didn't, at that time, have a cellphone or land line so I immediately called the parents of his girlfriend to see if they'd heard from their daughter, which unfortunately they had not. As we remained glued to the TV, not knowing where our son was, we became increasingly frightened when, 30 minutes later, we received a call back from the girl's parents saying they had talked their daughter and they were safe in their apartment on the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge.

About an hour later, I received an email from our son dated September 11, 2001, 7:56 AM (which I will keep always) that said, "I've been trying to call you but the phone lines are not working. We are both okay and safe. Love you lots, Christian." To this day, I never walk out of the house without my cellphone on, nor does anyone in our family.

- Marianne JohnsonBellingham


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