The Twins of the Twin Towers
The World Trade Center
The Tale of the 911 twins
New York City: the beating heart of the Unites States of America.
Once home to The Twin Towers - a powerful symbol of a modern era and American
In 2001, they became the target of the most brutal terrorist attack
the world has ever seen. Almost 3,000 people lost their lives as they
were beginning their working day. They were mothers, fathers,sons and
daughters. Some of them, as many as 46, were also twins.
In the unfolding tales of those whose lives were changed forever. The
story of the 911 twins remained untold. Reluctant members of a club born
out of this tragedy, these New Yorkers each lost their other half in
Today, New York appears as vibrant and full of life as ever, but the
impact of that terrible day is still felt by almost all who live there.
Zachary Fletcher and his twin brother Andre grew uo in Brooklyn and
became NYC fire fighters. They were both called to The World Trade
Center, that day, in September. Andre did not return.
Twins live their lives. from the beginning, in a context of 'we'
rather than the usual 'I'. We are shown pictures of a number of the
surviving twin includingL Gerg Hoffman identical twin to Stephen, Linda
McGee identical twin to Brenda, Gart Guja identical twin tp Geoffrey and
Pamela Bittner twin to Jeffrey. As many od the twins were growing up a
new project was taking root in New York City. Comstruction began of The
World Trade Center in lower Manhatten. The twin towers would come to
dominate the Manhatten skyline.
The World Trade Center
Lisa & Michael DeRienzo grew up on Staten Island within sight if
the developing World Trade Center. Michaek would become a broker on the
104th floor of the north tower. Gary Guja's brother Geofrey was also a
fire fighter. Geoffrey & Gary grew up on Long Island, where Gary
still lives today
On September the 11th Geoff shouldn't have responded to the emergency
callout. He'd been injured in a fire and restricted to office duty.
Greg Hoffman and his twin brother Stephen grew up in Queens in a
large catholic family. When the twin towers were completed in 1973 they
were, briefly, the tallest buildings in the world and could be seen from
25 miles away. They seemed as strong as America herself.
The height of the twin towers proved irresistible to French high-wire
artist Philippe Petit and he was quick to celebrate them in his own
unique way. A couple of years later, a Brooklyn toy maker George Willig,
the human fly, felt compelled to scale the south tower where he was rescued
on the 65th floor by the window washers.
Brenda McGee got a job as a systems analyst on the 97th floor of the
north tower. According to sister Linda she didn't like heights or being
near a window - she had both.
Michael DeRienzo worked for investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald right
near the very top of the north tower.
On September the 11th 2001, 14,154 people were already in the
buildings when the first plane struck the north tower at 08.46 AM
Michael was five storeys above the area of impact on the 104th floor of
the north tower.
Greg Hoffman's identical twin Stephen worked at the same company as
Lisa's brother Michael on the 104th floor. Zack's twin brother Andre
worked for a special rescue unit based on Staten Island. He
arrived at the scene sometime before Zack.
Shortly after the second impact Greg's brother Stephen was trapped in
a conference room with colleagues from Cantor Fitzgerald. One young lady
managed to contact outside on her mobile and Greg recalls that they knew
the situation was serious and that they were going to die. This was one
of the last phone calls from the north tower.
Gary Guja recounts "Geoff had been injured in a fire, he was on
light duty in Brooklyn, looking out of the window watching the towers
burn when the second plane hit tower 2. They caught him twice trying to
sneak out and the third time he got out, jumped on the subway and got
over to Chinatown, commandeered a vegetable truck and made his way to
The Second Impact
Geoffrey Guja made his way to the entrance of the south tower at 9.59
AM just as the tower collapsed. When the south tower fell amongst the
many who dies was Pamela's brother Jeffrey on the 89th floor and Zack's
brother Andre who was on his way up the stairs with ten of his colleages.
As with so many others, there remains were never found. Geoffrey Guja
had just reached the entrance to the building when it fell.
John D'Allara had been at the scene early on and had rescued many
inside the north tower. At 10.28 he was outside the building helping
people to safety across the plaza now a death-trap of falling debris.
His twin brother Dan tells "When I heard a plane had hit the trade
center, the first thing I did was call truck 2 in Harlem and didn't get
an answer. I called my sister-in-law so knew John was down there. The
first plane hits, wasn't worried. The second plane hit, wasn't worried.
When the south tower came down I didn't worry, but at 10.30 I was in the
carriage house on 59th street and I nearly jumped out of my skin with
Dan was right, it was the collapsing north tower that killed his
It would eventually be established that 2,752 people had lost their
lives in the attack on the twin towers. Of those who died only 293
intact bodies were ever found and only 12 could be identified by sight.
For the surviving twins the days leading up to 911 have been locked
in memory. Stephen and Greg's lives had always been inextricably linked.
From school they went to college together where they met their future
It took almost a year for the rubble to be cleared. On April the 11th
2002 Dan helped carry his twin brother's body out of ground zero. Unlike
many whose loved ones remains were never found, Dan was able to bury his
It was two years before Linda felt able to leave the house and return
to her job as a school teacher. During this time her marriage ended. She
recalls "Everything revolve aroung being a twin and I thought
eventually he would catch on, but it didn't happen."
Today, 10 years after the event some of the twins still meet to share
memories. With so few bodies recovered making traditional burials
impossible, 911 memorials have taken on a special significance.