Listen to these personal stories ...
Andy Stevens
Rhonda Messia
Diane Hunt
Olivia Brassard
Darrell Anderson
Phil Cronan
Andy Stevens
Rhonda Messia
Diane Hunt
Olivia Brassard
Darrell Anderson
Phil Cronan
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Click to listen
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We Remember
 
Honored Dead: Victims of 9/11
 
Moments of remembrance on the South Shore and beyond
 
Stories of survival, heroics
 
Taunton man remembers the last day with his wife
 
Have things changed?
 
How attacks affected kids, and how are they now
 
Nationally
 
Brockton native decided how much to give 9/11 families
 
Graphic: Sequence of 9/11 events
Audio interviews and editing for this series were conducted by Cory Hopkins, Diana Schoberg, Ryan Menard, John Kelly, Andrew Lightman and Ken Johnson from The Patriot Ledger, and by Jean Porrazzo, Elaine Allegrini and Craig Murray from The Enterprise.
Site Design: Stephen Ide

 

BACK FROM MANHATTAN

‘The best move of my life’

AMELIA KUNHARDT photos/The Patriot Ledger
Maria Butner says her husband, Calvin, “understands when I wake up with a nightmare every time I look at the news and they are talking of another threat.” Calvin, a state trooper, was working at Logan Airport, where two of the hijacked planes took off.
Hear her now:
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Maria Butner of Rockland was the manager of a Radio Shack in Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001.

I remember Sept. 11 as if it were yesterday.

Even though my store was not in the World Trade Center, I went to pick up some merchandise from the store in the North Tower. The attack happened so fast I remember wondering if I would see my daughters or my family again.

There was chaos and dust and people tripping over each other, not realizing what was really going on. I remember trying to run as fast as I could and thinking I was getting nowhere.
The terrifying feeling that goes through your mind is hard to explain. You think of your whole life and the people you love as if a movie is playing in your head.

I finally was able to see through all the dust and began to see people trying to make it to the sidewalks looking for help. I remember saying to myself, I have to make it to my daughters and hold them and hug them.

I started walking with all of the people around me. I must have walked until 86th Street trying to find transportation. They did have buses waiting for people on 72nd Street, but they filled so rapidly I would just keep on walking.

Maria Butner recalls the death and destruction she witnessed in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001, when she was in Tower One and ran before the World Trade Center towers collapsed. "I'm determined not to be fearful," says Maria. "Today, I'm back in the saddle. It's a new beginning for me, and I have a loving family by my side."

I finally arrived home at 204th Street in Uptown Manhattan at about 11 p.m. I called my sister in Brockton to let her know I was OK and crawled into my bed with both my daughters and held them as tight as I could. I started thinking, what just happened? I remember missing my family so much and wishing they were there to give me a hug.

My daughters were 13 and 11, and I knew I had to keep it together for them. I did not want them to be scared, so the next day they asked for volunteers and to face my fears I left my daughters with their baby sitter and went on my way. I was determined not to let this get the best of me or I would be forever in fear.

I helped the National Guard set up the satellite communication at Grove Island. I still remember when they presented me with the certificate for bravery. I do not know if I would call it bravery or just trying to deal with it my own way.

I do know that I could probably write a book of every detail that happened that day.

After Sept. 11, I requested a transfer from Manhattan to Boston. It was the best move of my life. I met a kind and understanding State Police officer who worked at Logan Airport on Sept. 11, his birthday. We hit it off and on Sept. 11, 2005, we were married. Now on that day there is not so much sadness in my heart.

I could never forget that day and where I was or the terrible feelings I had. I am thankful to God for helping me have a wonderful loving family and a wonderful man who understands when I wake up with a nightmare every time I look at the news and they are talking of another threat.

Today I work as a business banking representative for Sovereign Bank in Abington. I am very involved in the community and also part of the Ambassador program at the South Shore Chamber of Commerce

I keep myself very busy and I try not to watch the news too much.