It was the voice of her 5-year-old daughter that gave Yvette Guidry-Robinson the courage she needed to share her 9/11 story with Stratford residents Sunday night at a Sept. 11 memorial service at VFW Post 9460.
"It took my 5-year-old daughter to wake me up this morning and say, "Mommy, what is going on, what are people talking about?'" Guidry-Robinson told a group of about 250 locals gathered for the memorial and candlelight vigil.
"I always put it off, like 'This is not happening to me,' but to come out and see the support from the town that I live in ... It makes living worthwhile to know that there are people out there that care about you," she said. "For some people, it's 10 years, but for me it feels like it's only been 10 seconds."
On Sept. 11, 2001, Guidry-Robinson was employed at Marsh & McLennan, and had an office on the 98th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. However, on the day of the terrorist attacks, she was at her home in Mount Vernon, NY, nursing a broken leg and ankle.
The first plane to impact the Twin Towers came at 8:46 a.m. and "ripped a path across floors 94 to 98, directly into the office of Marsh & McLennan," according to a New York Times article, "102 Minutes: Fighting to Live as the Towers Died." Guidry-Robinson said 293 of her coworkers were killed in the fiery crash.
"There were people that worked in front of me, next to me," said a tearful Guidry-Robinson as she clutched her daughter close to her chest. "There were people that were lost for a long time and some of us are still lost."
The speech was not initially part of the agenda Sunday night. In fact, Guidry-Robinson's story of survival and terror was told impromptu as residents paused in their progression to shake the hands of the many local service men and women in attendance. Her heartbreaking story brought many to tears, and Guidry-Robinson thanked her neighbors for their solace in this time of difficult healing.
"I just want to thank you town of Stratford for taking the time to remember the 293 people from Marsh & McLennan," said Guidry-Robinson, who moved to Stratford about four years ago. "It's a healing process. It took me 10 years to come to grips with this."