1. Fact: The Port Authority of NY & NJ opened the World Trade Center in 1973, as a center where people of all nationalities could come together to establish “peace and stability through trade.” The two towers were part of the seven-building World Trade Center complex, designed to provide office space for approximately 50,000 people as well as a hub for transportation and location for cultural events.
Personal Experience Question: How did Mary Lee describe life at the World Trade Center before September 11th? What do you think the Towers symbolized?
2. Fact: On February 26, 1993, a truck bomb was detonated in the underground garage of the World Trade Center by members of the same Islamic extremist group that attacked the Towers in 2001. Six people were killed. Smoke filled the elevators and stairwells and it took several hours for people to evacuate.
Personal Experience Question: How did Mary Lee’s evacuation experience in 1993 affect her response to the attacks in 2001? Do you think this experience helped or hindered her when evacuating the World Trade Center on September 11th? How do previous experiences help us make decisions in the present?
3. Fact: On September 11th, the 110 stories in each of the Twin Towers collapsed straight down in about 10 seconds resulting in a massive cloud of dust that covered Lower Manhattan. The cloud was composed of the pulverized building and all of its contents.
Personal Experience Question: While evacuating Mary Lee was unsure of what was happening to the buildings. How would you describe her thoughts as she watched the place she had worked in disappear?
4. Fact: 2,749 people were murdered at the World Trade Center on September 11th including 84 Port Authority employees, 37 of whom were Port Authority police. About 3,000 children lost their parents during the attacks of September 11th.
Personal Experience Question: How did Mary Lee help her children heal from the trauma of fearing the loss of their parents? What kind of questions have you asked your parents, guardians, or teachers about the events of September 11th?
5. Fact: The Tribute WTC Visitor Center began giving tours in 2005. Thousands of visitors come to the center to learn more about September 11th.
Personal Experience Question: How does Mary Lee honor the loss of her co-workers and the events of September 11th? Think of another personal account of an historic event that you have learned about. How has the personal story affected your understanding of that event?