Listening to 9/11 Stories at @NJShorePatch

Two women recall their close encounters with those devastated by the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks.

Mary Mick Davis

The first time I saw Mary Davis in the spring of 2002, she was wearing a hard hat and overseeing a group of volunteers at a respite center at St. Peter’s Church near Ground Zero. She clearly had a lot on her mind and she was clearly in charge of the smoothly running operation that provided a place of rest and sustenance for those who were working at the site.

When I saw Davis again, it was at the mega-church in Southern California where we had both taken jobs. It was early 2003 and she had just been diagnosed with Shingles, which can be induced by stress. She was exhausted, burnt out, and in need of respite herself.

Davis lives in Kentucky now, with the husband she met and married in California and their young son Mickey. I talked to her last week by phone about her memories of working at Ground Zero. Some of the details have grown fuzzy, but the people she served are etched into her heart and mind. …

Paula Griffin

Paula Griffin, Pt. Pleasant, worked for Don and Jean Peterson when the Spring Lake couple was killed on Flight 93, but she also considered Jean a friend.

“That was a true relationship, because she gave so much of herself to everybody,” Griffin explained.

The Petersons were on their way to California to visit Jean’s mother, Griffin said, and called her before they left to tell her to take a paid day off. Griffin was at home that morning when her husband came in from 7-11 and told her to turn on the TV. She watched the second plane fly into the World Trade Center.

“I knew right away something was wrong and then it clicked. Immediately it set in: ‘Oh, my gosh, what flight were they on?’” said Griffin.

The Petersons had arrived at the airport early and had taken Flight 93 instead of the later one that they had booked.

“I just didn’t know what to do at that point. I just knew that I needed to go over there,” said Griffin. …

Read the rest of their hopeful stories at Manasquan Patch.

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