Documentary telling the story of the twins who lost their 'other half' in the terrorist attacks of 9/11, including fire fighter Zachary Fletcher whose brother was also a fireman.
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This programme contains scenes some viewers may find upsetting
New York City, the beating heart of the United States of America,
once home to the Twin Towers,
a powerful symbol of a modern era and American financial strength.
Ten years ago, they became the target
of the most brutal terrorist attack the world has ever seen.
GARBLED VOICE ON RADIO: World Trade Center tower number one is on fire...
Almost 3,000 people lost their lives
as they were beginning their day's work.
They were mothers, fathers, sons and daughters.
Some of them, as many as 46, were also twins.
I realised, OK, I need to find out if there were other twins who were killed on 9/11.
I just said I need to find out who the other ones are
and I need to talk to them.
When you're in a relationship,
whether it's your girlfriend or your boyfriend or your husband or wife,
you call that your other half. I don't call that my other half.
I call my brother my other half cos he made me whole.
In the unfolding tales of those whose lives were changed for ever,
the story of the 9/11 twins has remained untold.
It was shocking to see how many other twins were affected.
I don't want to take it away from anybody who had a sibling or kids,
but you know, everybody else is talked about.
You never hear, "That's a twin." You never hear, "They were a twin."
And I think this is a good thing. I think people need to know that,
you know, we're special people too.
Reluctant members of a club born out of this tragedy,
these New Yorkers each lost their other half on September 11th, 2001.
Today, New York City appears as vibrant and full of life as ever.
But the impact of that terrible day in September ten years ago
is still felt by almost all who live here.
Zachary Fletcher and his twin brother Andre grew up in Brooklyn
and became New York City firefighters.
They were both called to the World Trade Center on September 11th.
Andre did not return.
I was proud. I was proud to be a twin,
because it meant that something...
I had something different than what the other kids had.
We used to always play that we were kind of like superheroes,
because being a twin, you know, we had special powers and things like that, you know.
Twins live their lives from the beginning
in the context of a 'we', rather than the more usual 'I'.
Cos we were always 'the twins', you know, Mike and Lisa the twins.
We went as one, you know, wherever we were,
even if we were by ourselves. "That's Lisa, that's Michael, they're twins."
It's hard to describe, it really is. It's...
He knew what I was thinking, I knew what he was thinking,
and we did things almost at the same time together.
It was just a natural progression and it just was amazing.
It really was amazing.
We were identical twins. I was older by three minutes.
My hair was always parted to the side.
Steve was always like a straight bang cut.
So some people were very good at telling us apart.
They could tell that there were differences.
When I was eight years old, I broke my jaw.
We were playing on a bicycle.
I bit through my lip and it's a permanent scar.
I had 14 stitches and it was swollen.
I remember the nurse showed me the mirror and I was crying all night.
I thought I broke my twin-ship because I didn't think Stephen and I
were going to look alike any more. I thought I'd done something irreparable and permanent.
I didn't like all the confusion at elementary school when we took pictures.
Only one of us would get a set of pictures
because the photographer would assume he made two copies and send one back.
So every year it was like who would get their picture this year?
If Brenda did something, it was Brenda-Linda. If I did, it was Brenda-Linda.
And it was just like one. It was like a package deal.
"So who did it?" "Brenda-Linda."
I remember my mother often saying,
"I don't know who did it, but you're both getting punished now."
It didn't seem fair that other kids didn't have a twin.
There's something, I think, that happens
when you spend nine months in a womb with someone,
as silly as that may seem,
that sets you apart from anybody else for the rest of your life.
As many of the twins were growing up,
an exciting new project was taking root in New York City.
NEWSREADER: The Port of New York Authority
is constructing the World Trade Centre in Lower Manhattan.
The centre includes twin 110-storey tower buildings,
the tallest in the world.
With the addition of each new storey,
the twin towers would come to dominate the Manhattan skyline.
Lisa and Michael DeRienzo grew up on Staten Island
within sight of the developing World Trade Center.
Michael would become a broker on the 104th floor of the North Tower.
I would say I was a little bit more rambunctious, talkative and giggly.
He was much more reserved and quiet.
When he spoke, everyone listened, because then he had something to say.
I always felt he was my friend for life.
You know, he was the go-to guy when I ever needed anything.
Anything good happened, he was the first call. Anything bad happened, he was the first call.
Yeah, like, he was that friend that was always there.
Andre and I, we took piano lessons together,
we played football together, we played baseball together.
There's really nothing that we didn't do together.
Both of us even joined New York City Fire Department.
-Shave it off?
-I want it like that.
I'm not bald-headed. I got hair.
'We lived only a few blocks away from the fire house,'
and we'd walk by the fire house and...
..the door would be up and the guys were so friendly.
You'd look at these big guys.
You're like, "Wow. The things these guys must go through.
"Those guys are superheroes, man." So we want to be superheroes too.
-See you later. See you later!
I don't think any twins didn't fight.
I think what made it worse was the fact that we were so competitive.
Who was stronger?
We always wanted to determine who was the better twin.
Yeah, we always fought. Sometimes it turned to physical.
45 years of fishing and now I don't fish at all.
I just chase the little white ball.
Gary Guja's identical twin brother Geoffrey was also a firefighter.
-Nice and straight.
-Where is it?
It curved a little bit!
Geoffrey and Gary grew up on Long Island where Gary still lives today.
Yeah, this is us. Look at this, this is a great picture.
This I can remember.
Look at this, we're climbing up.
There is definitely no-one there.
There we go, down the slide together. That was great.
Oh, here are the sailor suits, the famous sailor suits.
We had, like, our fifth party.
They gave us these little sail boats.
In the middle of the party, Mom had a heart attack
because she couldn't find us. Both of us had disappeared.
We took our sail boats, just the two of us,
and were sailing them down the canal.
They were ready to call the police and everybody. We're, like, disappeared.
Geoff was always the organiser. We always used to joke around.
There was the right way, the wrong way and Geoff's way,
because that was the way we always did it.
I love my sisters and other brothers,
but there's just no comparison between the relationship between two twins.
It's really a...a unity. It's a oneness.
Eventually we bought a house together.
Inseparable up until mid-30s, maybe. And then we split up.
I took half the house, with my wife Debbie.
Geoff took the other half.
If we sell this ring,
maybe we can take this limo straight down to Mexico and...
That's it. I ain't doing it! Take a left.
Following Geoff's lead, we could do whatever we wanted to.
I often said he was like a locomotive out of control at times.
But we'd jump on the train and we'd all go for a ride.
And it was a great ride.
Right, that's another way of telling you you're ugly.
Went into the Fire Department and wanted the most action,
pulled all the strings he could,
so he ended up in the worst firehouse in the worst area of the Bronx.
On September 11th,
Geoff shouldn't have responded to the emergency call out.
He'd been injured in a fire and restricted to office duty.
Thirteen Hoffmans. Eight boys, five girls.
We were the youngest two boys
and we understood that we had all these other brothers and sisters,
but Stephen I, there was certainly a uniqueness about the relationship,
because of the twinship.
There was no language, it was just unspoken, a look, a nod...
just an expression and then when we...
I think we had a more hard time communicating when we spoke
than when we didn't speak, because when we spoke there were both of us
trying to talk at the same time.
Greg Hoffman and his twin brother Stephen grew up in Queens in a large Catholic family.
So he and I were always very active, very hyperactive.
And believe it or not, it's hard for you to understand, but Stephen...
I was the least hyper of the two of us, Stephen was much more...
talkative and just more out there.
If you were a cartoon character, who would you be?
Oh, cartoon character. I would undoubtedly be Tigger.
Tigger's my favourite character cos he's got a lot of spunk.
He bounces around, he's always happy.
Tigger, Tigger, Tigger Tigger's a wonderful thing.
'We're exactly the same, also at the same time totally opposite.'
John was the academic and I was out hustling.
I wanted to make money.
New York City is a great place to make a living.
John is this hero policeman, he's all over the place
and I've always been in the carpet business
or playing my guitar in a band.
Right there, we're exact opposites.
He'd been an emergency service police officer for 14 years.
The saying goes, when a cop needs a cop, they call emergency service.
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.
So it wasn't just a regular building for us.
We had a lot of fun there, Geoff and I. It was interesting
because we had spent a fair amount of time at the Towers.
Growing up and being a teenager around that time,
it was something that you did.
You made school trips to the Twin Towers.
We were proud of our Twin Towers.
Top of the heap. Top of the world. New York.
COMMENTATOR: And up here at 1,500 feet or in that area,
there is somebody out there on a tightrope walk
between the two towers of the World Trade Center,
right at the tippy-top.
The height of the Twin Towers proved irresistible
to French high-wire artist, Phillipe Petit
and he was quick to celebrate them in his own unique way.
A couple of years later, Brooklyn toymaker, George Willig,
the human fly, felt compelled to scale the South Tower.
'28-year old George Willig was at the 65th floor.
'They sent two men in a window washer's bucket down after him.'
I remember standing outside looking up
and the Twin Towers were standing there.
Stephen and I remember looking up, we go, "They're our buildings, man.
"The twins and the towers, those are our towers".
And I think any twin identifies with that.
After high school, I remember asking, "Are we going to college?"
You know, it was kind of like, "OK, are we going away?
"If we're not, we're going to stay here? What are we going to do?
And we started to work rather than go straight to school.
Brenda got a job as a systems analyst
on the 97th floor of the North Tower.
I used to visit her all the time.
We'd have lunch, we'd go to concerts,
that'd be down in the building.
She didn't like heights and she didn't like being near a window.
And she had both. She was up high
and she had a big window.
But I think the more she worked there, she got used to it.
I remember looking out the window and I go, "Is it raining?"
She'd go, "I can't tell". That's how high up they were.
She was up there.
The minute we went to college, he sprouted, he grew almost six feet,
handsome, proud to be his sister,
you know, I'd walk into the party, "That's Mikey D's sister!"
He was Mikey D, I was Lisa D.
Actually, my brother convinced me to take the police test to begin with.
He's like, "Take the police test with me".
I'm like, "Ah, I don't know if I want to do that".
We both took the test and I ended up becoming the police officer
and he ended up becoming the broker.
He worried so much about me every day.
I mean, he would call me every morning, every night,
make sure I got home from work OK, make sure I got into work OK.
You know, it was nice to know that someone always cared that much,
and it was almost to a point where,
"Ok, Michael. You don't have to call me as much. Everything is fine".
I have to say, he was my number one fan.
Michael worked for investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald
right near the very top of the North Tower.
Being a banker, I never had to worry about him.
I went to visit him once at the Trade Center
and really wasn't a fan of it. It just was so tall.
The Trade Center was so confusing and there were so many entrances
and it was just so high. Cos it was nerve-wracking.
the building always felt like it was swaying.
I wasn't comfortable there. I didn't really go visit him again after that.
If I needed something, I made him come downstairs.
I'm like, "I'm not going back up there".
You know, going back to 9/11...
I know, sometimes I blame myself for him not being here.
He wouldn't have been there to die, if I didn't do what I did.
Andre was out of town when the opportunity arose to work overtime.
But there was only one way he could get back in time.
He called me from North Carolina and said,
"Zack, do you think you can pick me up from the airport?"
I was like, "Well, what time do you expect to be in?"
He says, "Twelve, midnight". I says, "Oh, hell, no".
I said, "There's no way in hell I'm going to pick you up".
He got pissed, he cursed me off, he slammed down the phone.
I'm like, "Ppff, I don't care".
Phone rings again in ten minutes. "Come on, man. Come pick me up".
The phone, he must have hanged up about five times.
I said, "Fine". I said, "You owe me so big".
'Good morning New York, it's a beautiful day in Manhattan...'
'..traffic's moving slowly over the Brooklyn Bridge.
'It's backed up all the way to the Brooklyn Queen's...'
'Coming up in the news today, guess who's been hinting he may return to the NBA...'
On September 11th 2001,
14,154 people were already in the buildings
when the first plane struck the North Tower at 8.46am.
The World Trade Center, tower number one
is on fire, the whole outside of the building.
There was just a huge explosion.
Ten-four, all companies stand by...
It was a beautiful Tuesday morning and I actually worked
in a undercover building in narcotics right up on the Westside Highway
and someone told me that I should call my brother,
that something was going on at the Trade Center.
So I called my brother's phone line and it rang and no-one answered, which was odd.
So I said, "I wonder what's going on down there?"
So I went to the corner, looked up, saw his building and I saw smoke coming out of his tower,
and I said, "That's not good".
'We have fire on several floors...'
Michael, Lisa's twin brother
was five storeys above the area of impact
on the 104th floor of the North Tower.
So I said, "I'm going to run down there".
As I was getting closer, I saw, you know,
hundreds of people coming towards me now. And I'm like, this is not good.
But being a police officer, I'm used to running toward situations
so it wasn't uncommon for me to be running towards something and people coming towards me.
I knew it was bad. But I didn't think it was that bad.
'Engine one. World Trade Center. Send every available ambulance
'everything you've got to World Trade Center now...'
'Please go to World Trade Center. Please go to World Trade Center.'
When I woke up, all I heard was sirens.
Cos I was in Brooklyn, all I heard was sirens and I heard...
I said, "What the hell's going on?" I looked out and, man, it's a beautiful day.
There was not a cloud in the sky. That's what was so eerie about it.
Andre hit me up on my phone.
He says, "Yo, get your ass up and get to work".
I was like, "I'm not working, I'm off".
He says, "Dude, they're having a recall".
He says, "Go in, get into work immediately".
He says, "A plane just went into the World Trade Center".
I'm like, "Get outta here! Stop bullshitting me".
'Attention all units. By the order of the Citywide tour commander,
'all off duty firefighters are hereby recalled.
'Repeating, by the order of the Citywide tour commander
'all off duty firefighters...'
I wasn't working at the time and Geoff thought
it was fun to call me at 7.15 every morning
to say, "Go get 'em. Hit the pavement".
Pamela's twin brother, Jeffrey, a research analyst,
was working on the 89th floor of the South Tower.
It wasn't a surprise when the phone rang and I said, "I'm up, I'm up".
And he said, "Don't panic."
He didn't even say hello, he said, "Don't panic. I'm fine".
He said, "It's not a big deal, but a tiny commuter plane just crashed into the building next door.
"They're saying we're safe, we're staying put.
"They want to worry about evacuating people from the other building".
I knew right away that it wasn't a small plane,
just looking at it. I didn't feel anything,
It wasn't like, "Oh, my God, my twin's..."
I mean, I just looked at it and said, "That is serious and that is a big plane."
I said, "Oh, my God, all those people are dead".
Greg's identical twin, Stephen,
worked at the same company as Lisa's brother, Michael
on the 104th floor.
And then I started... You know, called the cell phone,
called the desk, which is ringing.
You know, the cell phone it rang, his voice message picked up.
"Steve, please call me. Please call me. See what's going on".
So as each minute... 8.51, 8.52,
8.55, 8.57... It's like... It's a like a drum getting louder
and I started feeling like I was hyperventilating.
I called him back
and I said, "Can you get out of there?
"I don't like this. This is making me very, very uncomfortable.
You know, "Why won't they let you leave? That just seems weird to me.
"If you want to leave, leave. Just get in the elevator and leave".
And he said, "OK, I got to go...
"We're going to leave".
I said, "OK".
And they had closed the Brooklyn Bridge down.
So nobody can get across it.
And I said, "Look, my fire house is on the other side, I need to get there.
They said, "Go ahead".
And I got there and I saw his rig going in through the Battery tunnel.
Zack's twin brother Andre worked for a special rescue unit
based on Staten Island.
He arrived at the scene some time before Zack.
I phoned on his radio and I said, "Andre, I know the way you guys operate".
I said, "Don't do anything stupid".
I said, "I love you".
He says, "I love you too, bro".
And the weird thing about it is...
Why did I say, "I love you?"
I rarely told my brother I loved him.
I mean, cos we knew it. It was just something you knew.
I must have called the cell phone four or five times.
And I tried the cell phone again, so I remember it was like a little after nine o'clock,
he picks up, he's like, "Hello". He didn't say hello, he said, "Greg".
I go, "Steve, is that you?" He goes, "Greg, it's me".
And it was very static-y, and I said, "Steve?", he goes, "Yeah?" I go,
"Are you all right?" He goes, "Yeah, we're all right". And then this...
At that point, with maybe a five second, six second phone call,
I'm looking at the TV, I'm watching the other plane come in.
And I remember the last thing Stephen said was, "Oh, my God. Look at that".
Then the phone went dead. And then all the cell phones went.
But at that moment he was alive. I remember looking at my clock,
saying, "OK, it's going to take at least an hour to get down.
"It's a mess, but you know what, now they're going to get down".
'We're getting reports on the 104th floor,
'back room, 25 to 30 people trapped.
'I also have the 103rd floor, north west room...'
At that point it was pretty much chaos.
The second plane hit,
you don't know what's going on but you knew it was bad.
When you look up at the Trade Center...
And I saw people jumping out the windows and off the roof
and people were screaming in horror.
It was almost like you were in a tunnel, like you were in a vision tunnel now.
Because you almost couldn't hear anything any more. It was like time froze.
But when I got a block from the Trade Center and I saw it
and I knew he was in there...
I almost felt like he may have kept me out.
Because any other... I really do believe, and I've thought about this,
any other time I would run into that building, I would run into, you know, stores getting robbed,
and I was running into bad situations all the time.
But why did I stay out of this one?
Why did I get a block close and not go in?
At around this time,
Greg's brother Stephen was trapped in a conference room
with colleagues from Cantor Fitzgerald.
There were phone calls
and a young woman who worked at Cantor...
..had called home at 9.17 trying to speak to her mom,
and left a very frantic message for her mother.
Hysterically crying, upset, cos it was a half-an-hour
after the first airplane had hit their building
and they realised they were trapped.
And they realised that their fate was pretty set,
and they kind of... I think they all at that point understood
that they were not going to... they were going to die.
There was a voice that came in behind her
and they said...
She said, "Mom", and he said, "Tell them there's 30, 40 of us
"in a northwest conference room". And her voice came in,
"Mom, there are 30 or 40 of us in the northwest conference room.
The voice in the background belonged to Stephen.
He would say something, she would repeat it.
And she couldn't get through to anybody, she was talking to a voice machine.
And I can only imagine how horrifying that must have been
and how scary and all those other things it must have been,
but for me it was nice to know that Stephen came there and comforted her.
This was one of the last phone calls from the North Tower.
I was so glad to hear his voice again,
because at that point I was starting to say, "Did I even imagine I had that phone call with Stephen?
"Was it... Was it real?"
And I... and I remember...
when the cell phone bill came in,
I just looked at the bill, I just wanted to make sure.
9.02, there's my cell phone, there's his cell phone.
I remember going into my fire house. I signed in. Both trucks were out.
Most of the guys' gear was stripped off their racks.
And we started walking up to the World Trade Center,
which was only about ten minutes, tops.
'Have MSU activate all their spares, bring all their spares
"and all spare bottles... to number one World Trade Center.'
I said to him, I said, "Cap, hold on, wait here".
I said, "I'm going to go grab a few more bottles, air bottles".
He looked at me, he was like, "Good idea".
From the time I left the captain, to come back, get the bottles,
then go back to meet him,
I'd probably burned about nine-ten minutes.
Geoff had been injured in a fire.
He was on light duty at Metrotech in Brooklyn.
He was looking out the window watching the towers burn
when the second plane hit Tower Two and...
they caught him twice trying to sneak out
and the third time him and Lieutenant Polsino got out,
jumped on the subway
and got over to Chinatown and commandeered a vegetable truck
and made some truck driver drive them half way.
It was just so surreal to feel the heat on the ground
and it was 80 storeys up.
He went into the firehouse there,
put on his bunker gear he took from somebody else's locker.
I got the impression that they just kind of stood there.
I don't want to use the word overwhelmed,
but it sounds as if...
a fire they had never seen or could comprehend, the way he described it.
I don't hold it against the firemen, who didn't go in.
Geoff looked at the fire and decided that was his calling to go.
Geoffrey Guja made his way to the entrance of the South Tower at 9:59am.
I can only wish he didn't, but...
..everybody said the same thing.
He'd do it tomorrow.
He wouldn't do it differently.
We just looked and we saw everything coming,
all the crap coming down, we just all grabbed each other
and pushed each other into the side entrance of the building.
Everything is just moving in slow motion,
and you're hearing everything slur... I mean, just like that.
I'm like, "Wow, this cannot be real."
If I didn't go back to get those bottles,
I would have actually gone down further and I wouldn't be here.
When the South Tower fell,
amongst the many who died 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 colleagues.
As with so many others, their remains were never found.
Geoffrey Guja had just reached the entrance to the building when it fell.
Everybody thought Geoff was a...
a cat with nine lives. Nobody ever...
Everybody knew that Geoff was going to come up out of the rubble
with 14 people on his back.
You know, he was the hero, he was going to do it.
I just turned around and started running for my life
and the building fell and I got a bunch of blocks away and...
I knew at this point I needed... I needed to do something else.
I had to get to my building.
I saw a gentleman sitting in his car and he was frozen,
and I asked him, "You've got to take me back up town to my building."
I persuaded him to take me back up to my building.
I persuaded him to take me back.
I don't know, a little force, I guess,
but he took me back to my building.
Any gun involved?
I pressured him a little bit.
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.
When I heard that a plane had hit the Trade Center,
the first thing I did was call Truck Two in Harlem.
I didn't get an answer. I called my sister-in-law, "Where's John?"
"He's working". So I knew that he was down there.
We were at Stuyvesant Heights...
The first plane hits, I wasn't worried.
Second plane hit, wasn't worried.
When the South Tower came down, didn't bother me.
But at 10:30, I was in the Carriage House bar on 59th Street,
looking at the TV set and at 10:30 when that...
when that building came down,
I nearly jumped out of my skin with anxiety.
"John, holy shit, John.
"Holy shit, I got to get out of here."
And I went back to my... went back to my office,
My boss said, "Where do you think you're going?"
I said, "I have to get out of here. My brother just got killed."
I'll never be able to say that I didn't feel it.
LOW RUMBLE INTENSIFIES
Dan was right.
It was the collapsing North Tower that killed his brother, John.
DISTANT SIRENS WAIL
My...my gut told me it wasn't going to be good news.
But it wasn't anything like I felt, like a sharp pain
or anything like some of the other ones who had lost their twin.
Some people may have. I didn't feel anything.
So, I'm just wondering...
..why I didn't feel anything.
What happened to those special powers that we were supposed to have?
You didn't know after the buildings collapsed, you still...
you still didn't know.
You try and do the math in your head.
Did they have enough time?
Could they have found their way to another stairwell
and gone down a back stairwell and escaped the flames?
I went into complete denial, I think.
The second day, there was no word from Geoff.
I think everybody kind of knew in their hearts that it was not looking good.
But, again, if anybody could do it, Geoff was going to pull it off.
Third day we kind of... I think everybody...
kind of came to the conclusion that...
Geoff's not coming back.
It would eventually be established that 2,752 people
had lost their lives in the attack on the Twin Towers.
The next day that, you know, there was a bunch of rumours,
that hospitals have people in them and they're unconscious, not identified.
And being a police officer, we were allowed to go in and out of the city.
Really no-one else was.
And I said, "Listen, give me a list of the names.
"I'm going to go to these different hospitals
"and I'll give you guys a call and let you know, if anybody's there."
The bad news was every time I had to call them I had to tell them there wasn't anybody in any hospital.
Of those who died, only 293 intact bodies were ever found.
And only 12 could be identified by sight.
I was there on the day he was found
because they had dressed me up and took me in there to see it.
It was funny, as I told you, because somebody thought I was Geoff.
I was all dressed up in fireman's gear,
and one of the firemen saw my face and he come running up to me
like he was going to deck me or hit me,
because how dare I wait four days to tell everybody I'm still alive.
We told him that, no, this is Geoff's twin.
My captain says, "What do you want to do?
"You want to take a vacation or you want to continue to work at the pile?"
We called it the pile.
I said, "No. I want to work the pile."
Not only was I looking for my brother,
I was looking for the guys from my firehouse that died.
Out of 343 members that died, I must have known...
..this is including my brother, about 125, 130 of them.
And I could call probably...
..15 to 20 of them my CLOSE friends.
Oh, God. There's things I saw that nobody should see, you know.
The stench was so terrible. It was disgusting.
It could wrench your stomach
and I remember picking a piece of something up,
and it was such a bad smell, and anything like that you found, you had to red bag it.
I've never gotten anything from Andre at all.
Nobody from his unit, nobody got anything.
The Twin Towers, you looked at them as the power and the strength.
They symbolised so much, and I feel my brother and I did the same.
We were strong together.
And, you know, so when they collapsed,
you know, they broke and...
and so did my brother and I. You know, we broke also.
For the surviving twins,
the days leading up to 9/11 have become locked in memory.
That weekend before, we took this great long walk and we talked,
we just had fun.
We laughed and when I think back on it now, it was...
..kind of a perfect way to...
..spend time with him.
I drove him to the airport.
Back then, you could walk to the gate, you could walk to the gate!
And I just had a icky sick feeling in my stomach.
"God, what if this were the last time I ever see him?"
I remember thinking that.
He called and he said, "I'm home," and I remember thinking, "Oh, thank God."
The Sunday prior to that,
a friend always organised a family day trip at Yankee Stadium.
My brother would never go because he was a die-hard Met fan.
A bunch of my friends were there that had never met my brother,
so they finally got to meet, you know, the famous Mikey D,
and it was a great day overall.
I remember looking at him in the seat saying,
"This is such a good day."
You know, all my friends are here and he's here and...
..and, you know, a die-hard Met fan at the Yankee stadium watching a game. It was fantastic.
I remember that night before 9/11
and got a great surf report and I called Steve and I said, "Call Rob Jordan."
I said, "Let's do sunrise, let's do some sunrise surfing tomorrow."
We'll surf for a couple of hours and go into work a little bit late.
And we had done that so many times,
and Stephen's usually the guy calling me.
But some other guys were on vacation so he couldn't go in late that day.
Cos if those guys, if Rob and Steve, if we'd gone surfing that morning,
they would have been on the later train and they would have,
they would have not been at work until after about nine o'clock.
And, you know, you look back and say, "If only if..."
This place is where Stephen lived and loved,
he lived in Long Beach at the time.
A few times I came down here afterwards,
you know, like a twin, people would confuse you.
One guy came running over, he's like, "Steve!
"Steve! I'm so glad you made it!"
And for a second he was so happy.
And as he got closer to me, he realised that I wasn't Steve.
He's like, "You're Steve's twin, aren't you?" And I said, "Yeah, I'm Greg."
I came home and found the video tape of, like, one of our football games or one of our weddings.
I had a need just to hear him, see him moving around.
Stephen and Greg's lives had always been inextricably linked.
From school, they went to college together
where they met their future wives, Gabrielle
I liked her, I liked her right away. She was great.
We all melded together - it was the four of us.
We did everything together really.
We did. But I was afraid of her because...
I was so kind.
I was so nice. What did I do to you?
She was definitely...
She was intimidating. She was intimidating,
but she wanted to make sure that I was going to date Greg.
Because, you know, Stephen and Greg were like this, so I had to like her.
The four of us had the greatest time.
It really was unique. Very special.
It was just fun.
We'd just do things together.
-We moved near each other.
-Our lives were samey...
She had a baby, even though she was younger,
because I was like so not into it...
Sorry! Sorry but Mummy was the oldest girl.
I took care of my brothers and sisters, I was done.
You had Madison and I was like, "Stephen, this is unbelievable, we have to do this.".
A year later we had Madeline.
Gregory and Stephen did a lot of things, they coached football.
They did a lot of things together.
Because we really did love each other pretty instantly,
we did things together.
Also, when we were both equally angry at them at times,
we'd curse them together and it was comforting.
ALL TALK AT ONCE
I was a little jealous sometimes of anybody who was in a couple,
anybody who still had their husband. My husband was young. 36 years old.
It wasn't like he was sick.
He was healthy, beautiful, strong, you know,
and he's gone in one day.
One time at a wedding right after Steve died, I asked Gregory,
I said, "Dance with me. Don't talk.
"I want to pretend I'm dancing with your brother.".
Like in Ghost.
He was like, "OK". I was like, "I just want to dance with Steve, so just close your mouth."
You feel like him, just dance with me.
He did and it was wonderful and I closed my eyes,
and I danced with my husband in my head and it was wonderful.
And Gregory had said something that I never thought of when Stephen died.
He said, "We're like a car.
"You know, the four wheels and we're just cruising along.
"It was this beautiful relationship,
"and then one of the wheels was missing and everything just stopped."
It took almost a year for the pile to be cleared.
John's co-workers never stopped looking for him, never gave up hope.
We didn't know if we were going to get any remains, but it took seven months,
I got a call. "We found his gun, we're sending a car for you."
On April 11th 2002,
Dan helped carry his twin brother's body out of Ground Zero.
Someone said to me, "You suffered a loss among losses."
Twins certainly did.
There's a fatigue that comes with this,
that just lingers and lingers and lingers,
and that day we made the recovery
or June 11th when we did the internment,
that was the end of the beginning.
Unlike many whose loved one's remains were never found,
Dan was able to bury his brother.
All right, John, we'll see you next trip.
My focus after 9/11 was finding her,
and I was so zoned in on finding her, I didn't...
Nothing else mattered.
And then, when she wasn't found, it was like, "So what do I do now?"
Well, I stopped work for a while after that.
It was like I just couldn't do anything.
It was like I didn't want to do anything.
I was just home most of the time.
It was two years before Linda felt able to leave the house
and return to her job as a schoolteacher.
During this time, her marriage ended.
Everything revolved around being a twin.
I thought eventually he would catch on, he would understand,
but that didn't happen.
I still tell my mother to this day
that I have poor social skills because I was a twin.
I didn't need to talk to anybody, didn't need to have any friends,
I didn't need to do things with other people because
we were always together.
If I knew then what I know now,
I think I would have developed, you know, more of a Linda personality,
as opposed to Brenda-Linda that we grew up as.
I remember the first anniversary,
I said, "Wow, one year as just Linda." You know.
And it seemed like every year is like,
"OK, this is two years as just Linda."
So I guess I'm turning ten years old in September.
I was very worried about Greg.
Gregory said at one point, it's like he...
When the first building fell down,
the second one was still standing
and it was burning, and that's how he felt - like the standing twin.
It was after a year,
and that's when it really hit me.
Because the shock was over.
I was very depressed, you know.
I remember one time, I would go for long walks,
and I remember on St Patrick's Day 2003,
walking out over the Brooklyn Bridge,
and I remember just looking out over one of the eye beams,
and said, "Look, if I..."
The pain of loss was so emotional -
it was something that was just so powerful.
You couldn't just turn it on or turn it off.
It was very difficult, and very difficult to deal with.
I remember saying to myself,
"I jump up on there, I take five steps, jump, my pain will be over."
There was one morning when he said to me...
We were laying in bed and he said, "I was at my spot again."
I said, "What do you mean, your spot?"
"What does that mean, your spot?"
He said, "On the Brooklyn Bridge."
"Brooklyn Bridge? What do you mean?"
"Where I stand and think about jumping."
I was like, "OK, game over, we're done.
"I'm not doing this any more.".
And that is honestly what propelled me to say
we need to do something quick because that's not an option.
So I said,
"Let's have a support group, let's have a network."
I just wanted to build something so that they can have one another,
and the truth is, it was to take off some of my burden,
for some people to help Gregory because I couldn't do it.
The family, we did it to a certain extent, no doubt, but he needed more.
We brought 17 of the twins together for a social event in the city
and it was phenomenal.
You could see when people came in, they looked at each other,
and there was that unspoken language
that I was wanting to see and feel and have for the twins.
That's where your brother liked to go.
Today, ten years after the event, some of the twins still meet
to share memories.
These are the guys that died from my firehouse. 13 guys and my brother.
Your brother was a sergeant?
No, he was a regular White Shield police officer.
Were you identical?
You would think we were...
Yes, you guys...
..when you look at the pictures. No, we were fraternal.
I see my niece and nephew a lot.
I think sometime it gets to them because I sound so much like her,
so when I call, "You sound just like Mom."
One thing I did is I would blame myself for his death.
I never knew not being a twin.
There's nothing odd - that's why I'm amused by it all.
Everybody has a fascination with twins. To me, it's perfectly normal.
It does wonders for the healing in the heart
to know that, hey, you know, we got each other.
You don't have your twin, but you know what?
Maybe this is the next best thing.
It ain't oatmeal, but cornflakes ain't half bad sometimes!
So we can be like twins now.
You could be my twin sister.
You're stuck with me for life, that means. Sorry. I talk a lot.
To speak to people,
and to share my feelings with other twins, was er...
It was very important and satisfying.
With so few bodies recovered, making traditional burials impossible,
9/11 memorials have taken on a special significance.
I mean, they didn't recover any of my brother's remains
so I know he's still there.
I signed a waiver not to be identified if remains are found.
I just feel it'll bring up too much for me.
I don't know how I would react to that.
I know where my brother is.
You know, I can pray there when I want to pray there,
and I don't need to know any more.
What do you guys remember?
One thing has got to jump out when they say "Uncle Geoff".
He was the happiest guy.
You guys weren't around then but your mother was in the picture.
I pray for my kids to be healthy and to be happy.
God willing, to get married and to have children,
but for me to see a pair of twins before I leave this Earth
would be a...
There would probably be nothing else I would ask for.
It's pretty ironic that I was a twin,
and now my partner and I have twin boys, Michael and Cooper.
I was so excited to be a twin,
and to know that my sons are now twins, I'm so happy for them.
I felt so satisfied for Lisa, believe it or not,
because Lisa was, "I'm good with one, we don't need two."
And I secretly
had always wanted twins, to watch her raise twins.
Yeah, yeah, you see your brother?
Since the boys have been born,
something fulfilled in her life since then, which is amazing.
What, what? Where's Mommy?
Where did Mommy go?
Here she is!
Michael, come on.
Hands up. Wheee!
Ten years after the tragedy of 9/11, the footprint of the Twin Towers
has been preserved as a monument to those who lost their lives.
Beside them, a single building, the Freedom Tower,
is under construction.
When completed, it will be the tallest building in the United States.
When it comes to twins,
the closeness is that much more intense. That's great.
On the downside, when you have the loss and the separation,
the bereavement is that much greater.
A big part of him died on 9/11,
that I know for sure.
Many of us would say that.
And it took him a long time to come back.
But he did, thank God.
I miss that guy so much.
I actually feel,
and I'm sure the other twins have said the same thing...
Um... I actually feel like I'm missing half of me.
DISTANT SIRENS WAIL
So we kind of try to make ourselves feel better,
and we say that Geoff wouldn't have it any other way,
and he did what he wanted to do, and a lot of little cliches.
But, of course, we wish things could be different, but...
Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all,
we always say.
And it was, er...
That's the way it is.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11, The Twins of the Twin Towers tells the previously untold story of the twins who lost their 'other half' on the day of the terrorist attacks. It features the accounts of some of the 46 twins including Zachary Fletcher, a New York City Fire Fighter who lost his fellow fire fighter and twin brother, Andre in the south tower; Gregory Hoffman, who was on the phone to his twin, Stephen, as the second plane hit and former NYPD undercover cop, Lisa DeRienzo who lost her brother, Michael. As a broker, Michael believed he was the one with the safe job.
These and other compelling testimonies make for a profound and powerful tale, which strikes at the heart of what it is to be, not only a twin, but also a human being and reminds us why, as the tenth anniversary approaches, the world can never forget the events of September 11 2001.