News

September 9, 2011

Looking Back on 9/11: Brian Gregorek ’01 Recalls His Escape; Kay Adams Manion ’92 Guided Rescuers at Ground Zero

Although 10 years have passed, the memories of eyewitnesses of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City remain vivid.

Brian Gregorek ’01, financial adviser, Edward Jones Investments, St. Louis, Mo., worked for a company in Jersey City, N.J. at the time. He had gone into the city that day for a training course in financial services.

In a story in the Sept 7, 2011 edition of The Morning Call, Allentown, Pa., Gregorek explains that he had planned to get a bagel at the World Trade Center but the line was too long. He heard an explosion and took off running. When the north tower fell, he was in Battery Park with hundreds of other people. He was able to get a ferry and leave the city.

“It makes you appreciate everything that you have. Take every day, appreciate every day, don’t take it for granted,” said Gregorek in the story reported in The Morning Call.

Read the details of Gregorek’s story.

Kay Manion '92

Kay Manion '92 in New York City in 2004.

Meanwhile, Kay Adams Manion ’92, a civil engineering graduate and then senior environmental engineer with URS Corp., Paramus, N.J., led the all-woman team that New York firefighters relied on to tell them where utilities lay deep under the ruins of the World Trade Center as they searched for survivors in the following weeks.

The original building documents had perished with the towers so Manion and her team used their knowledge of the New York’s pipelines and geographic information systems software to determine the location of underground water, sewer, gas, steam, transportation, and telecommunications lines.

Manion worked at the recovery command service center at Pier 92 off Manhattan’s West 52nd Street for three months.

“It took every ounce of my training at Lafayette and my professional life to function in that atmosphere,” she says. “And yet I never felt more comfortable with what we were doing, relying on all of our skills and contacts. Everyone worked so hard and had the right attitude–had the city’s interest at heart.”

She was promoted to information technology manager for GIS a few years later and today is vice president with URS Corp.

Read the original story published in the September 2004 Lafayette Alumni News.

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