9/11 Survivors Reflect on World Trade Center and Pentagon Attacks as 10th Anniversary Nears


From Chance Encounter and Tragedy, Friendship

Moody eventually returned to work, to that same office. "All the faces were different," she said. "Not only were the people gone, but even the memories that they brought to work with them, where they kept their family close by, all of that was gone."

These days, when Fred Eichler's and Jonathan Judd's families visit each other, the atmosphere is full of laughter and smiles. It has become a tradition borne from tragedy. The two strangers were stuck in the offices of Eichler's insurance company Sept. 11 after the first plane hit the North Tower.

Judd had gotten off the elevator on the 83rd floor at the moment of impact. He ran into the first office he could find, where he encountered Eichler, who told him what had just happened.

"All I remember from that day was walking down the steps with Fred and saying I was 36," Judd told ABC News. "I said, 'I finally got married and I finally had a baby and now I'm going to die.' ... I was completely in a panic. ... It was horrible but he was comforting me the whole way down."

10 Years Later, Celebration of Life

They eventually separated as they reached the lobby and rescuers. After Sept. 11, the two were reunited after their bosses spoke with each other.

Eichler said he was especially close to Judd's daughter, Jordana, who was 6 weeks old when the Twin Towers fell.

"We've [the Judds and Eichlers] gotten together every year on the anniversary," he said. "So saw her when she was 1, 2, every single year. Watched her grow up. She was definitely a very integral part of my world since Sept. 11. To see her every year -- now she's 10 -- it's amazing."

Sept. 11 -- 'Don't Forget'

Florence Jones said she donated the dress, the jacket and even the shoes -- "the shoes still have the debris on them" -- that she wore Sept. 11 to a museum.

Around the time of the ninth anniversary last year, she spoke at a school and answered students' questions.

She said her message to Americans on the 10th anniversary would be "don't forget."

"If you're going to remember, do something in a positive vein," she said. "Plant a tree in somebody's memory, donate to the museum. ... When you come to New York, make a donation to the memorial to keep it going."

Moody said, "I hope Americans, first of all, never forget. Always keep the families of those people who we lost that day in their prayers. Always count their blessings. Realize that when you gather with your family, cherish that."

Sept. 11 Like a Second Birthday

Judd said each year, Sept. 11 was like a second birthday.

"I get phone calls from everyone I know that day [saying], 'We're glad you're here,'" he said. "Specially people from out of town that we know, that weren't here in the city that day. They want to share their compassion for you.

"It's a weird day because you want to remember those who died, but you also want to remember the fact that you're still alive," Judd said. "Getting together with Fred [Eichler] and his family every year is the perfect way to celebrate that we're still alive.

"We do toast each other to life," he said, "and we also remember the people that didn't make it out."

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