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Kathleen Henry-Amsterdam

September 11, 2001 started out as a beautiful day and it ended as the worst day of my life. I was a senior in high school when word came that a plane went into the World Trade Center. As the day went on rumors were going through the school and I couldn't wait to go home.

My father was a Battalion Chief, my mother a school secretary, three brothers were firefighters, and one brother a Port Authority police officer. My sister, Mary, is a special education teacher.

When I finally got home from school I found out that my father was seriously hurt after being in the collapse of both towers and was brought to a hospital. My brother Firefighter Joey P. Henry, 25 years old and working at Ladder 21 in Manhattan, was missing. My other brothers were at Ground Zero looking for Joey. My uncle found my father at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and when he was told Joey was missing he came home in his hospital gown, seriously hurt and covered in debris. Days went by and we received no information regarding Joey. It was the worst tragedy a family could go through. We had a memorial for Joey on October 5th, but he was never found.

My family and I had a lot of help from counselors since September 11 and when I graduated from St. John's University I went to Long Island University and received my master's degree in guidance counseling. I am now a guidance counselor at P.S. 249, the Caton School and I feel that I am giving back for all the help my family received.