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Spotlight~Remembering 9/11

young Amy Andrews.jpeg
Air Force veteran practices bale jumping!.jpg

Her story reflects the heart of many who are called to serve our country. Veteran Staff Sgt. Amy Andrews

honored us this past weekend by sharing her journey to serve after surviving 911.  Here is an excerpt from her amazing story..


“The day of Sept 11th 2001, I was in the lobby when I heard a very load explosion, and then debris was falling everywhere.  We heard the North Tower has been hit by a plane.   One of our bellman came running in to tell us to call 911 b/c a lady got third degree burn, her hair and clothes were burned onto her.  We started evacuating all guests in the hotel and then I was asked to go down to the basement to assist a female security Guard named “Maggie” answering incoming calls.  We then got a call to get out of there b/c the South Tower just got hit too by another plane.   We could smell an unusual scent, another security Guard told us to go back to the lobby to be safe.  By the time we got to the lobby, almost everyone had evacuated except some of our managers and the lobby was filled with 50-60 firemen. A  Manager told Maggie and I, to evacuate but instead, we stayed in the lobby b/c the firemen needed our help as much as possible. They used the lobby as one of their command stations and needed to call out for more help and I was the only one who knew the pass code to call out to get an outside line and I also knew which rooms still had handicapped people that needed help down.  Firemen were running in and out, you could see the fear and horror in their face.  They told us not to look outside b/c bodies were landing everywhere.  A fireman got killed from a falling body. We could hear the sound when the bodies landed on the lobby’s glass roof.  The firemen were so exhausted and dehydrated, so we handed out bottled water…”


Andrews remained in the tower assisting until the very end when the tower began to fall, and she with firemen would run for their lives amidst falling debris, shattered glass, and crumbling walls. She eventually outrun the white cloud of dust that sought to engulf her on that horrific day.  Andrews found herself wondering why she had survived, and wanted to make a difference- help people. She would begin the paperwork to enlist a month later with the United States Air Force.  Andrews became a Physical Therapy Assistant and helped rehabilitate those whose who suffered injuries. She also joined Dover AFB Honor Guard to honor all our fallen heroes from war.  “We as honor guard members can’t show emotions, had to hold our sadness inside our heart when we carried our fallen heroes off the plane, day & night, rain & shine, in the freezing cold.”  Andrews would suffer PTS as she worked through the memories of her experience. Certain movies or sounds triggered anxiety attacks. Although extremely honored to work with our fallen heroes, it also would trigger memories. Time and new experiences have helped Andrews through the healing  process. Andrews met her husband in the Air Force and they are blessed with two children. She continues to work as a Physical Therapist    Assistant and makes time to volunteer where she feels she is needed. She is a volunteer with Wellspring of Life Farm.


“After all these extraordinary situations, it made me a different person.  I don’t have a bad day ever since.  I look at life differently.  What I learned and realize is that I love to help people, touch people’s lives. I learned not to take any day for granted, and also to tell my love ones, I love them as often as possible, because you never know what will happen tomorrow.”

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