“I’ll never forget when the first tower came down,” said Laurie Tietjen. “Everybody started crying and I said, ‘Oh my God, those poor families,’ and about a half an hour later I learned we were one of the families.”
When Port Authority Police Officer Ken Tietjen learned the first tower was hit, he raced down to the World Trade Center to help save lives. In doing so, he lost his own life on Sept. 11, 2001.
“You think there’s no way, what are the chances your brother, my brother, could be killed by a terrorist? You think it’s never going to happen, so at the beginning there was a lot of hope,” Laurie, Ken’s sister, said. “I made the decision to go down to ground zero the next day, and once I went down there and saw what it looked like — it looked like a war zone. There were fires everywhere, it was unbelievable. Once I went down there and saw that, I knew that he wasn’t coming home.”