[Photo: Genelle Guzman-McMillan and family. Credit: Courtesy Genelle Guzman]
In commemoration of the lives lost and forever changed by the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S., today Good Black News highlights the story of the last person pulled alive from the rubble at the World Trade Center in New York — Genelle Guzman-McMillan.
Trapped under the rubble for 27 hours before being rescued, Guzman-McMillan, a young Black immigrant woman from Trinidad, was working as an office assistant for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on the 64th floor of the World Trade Center’s North Tower when it was hit by a plane hijacked by terrorists.
Guzman-McMillan had made her way down to the staircase to the 13th floor before the entire building collapsed, shattering her leg, injuring her head and burning her face. It took over a day for first responders to find her, and she kept herself alive with thoughts of reuniting with her daughter Kimberly, who was 12 at the time, and through her faith.
After spending over a month in the hospital healing from her wounds, on November 7, 2001 Guzman-McMillan (then Guzman) affirmed the continued gift of her life by marrying boyfriend Roger McMillan, who proposed not long after her rescue. They since have had two more daughters and live in Long Island.
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