It’s About Her
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum (NS11MM) occupies a preview space across from the World Trade Center pit, nestled among the organized discord of bustling pedestrians, congested traffic, and a monolithic construction project. StoryCorps and the NS11MM nurture a partnership a few years old, and the museum invited us to record at its preview site on May 25, 2010.
The memorial reserved a soundproof room for a full StoryCorps recording day. It was originally installed to record museum visitors’ impressions. Although stress, loss, and chaos surrounded the site, the room was a sanctuary where we recorded participants’ stories.
One participant, Brian Dorsey, emerged from the pack of tourists. Joined by Amy Weinstein, NS11MM Oral Historian, Brian remembered his late wife, Jennifer Dorsey-Howley, a small woman with brown hair, sharp-blue eyes and “a smile that lit up a room.”
Brian and Jennifer first saw each other from across a bar in Mineola, New York. They struck up a conversation, became friends, and started to commute together from New Hyde Park, New York to lower Manhattan, where they both worked. During one morning commute he finally and nervously asked her out to dinner; they were married a few years later.
Brian proudly acknowledged that with only a high school degree and considerable determination, Jennifer became Director at Aon Corporation, a reinsurance company formerly located on the 92nd floor of 2 World Trade Center. Jennifer was an expecting mother when she died in the September 11, 2001 attacks. Posterity and future memorial exhibits aside, Brian stated that this recording was for her.
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