(WTNH) – News 8 spoke to two people from Connecticut who are both survivors in different ways from the 9/11 attacks. John Sidel of Redding made it out of the North Tower alive and Cindy McGinty of Bloomfield survived losing her husband, Mike after he did not make it out of the North Tower.
Cindy remembers her husband Mike, who was a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who died when hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 struck the North Tower. Mike was on the 99th floor.
“How bittersweet it is to be 20 years later and he’s missing out on my son just got married this year and he won’t be here to show them how to be a husband or a father. My other son just got engage and he won’t show him how to be a husband and a father and that’s one thing I can’t be to them. I wish he was here with them, but on the other hand, at least they had a good dad for 10 years,” Cindy said.
Cindy is marking the 20th anniversary of the attacks by remembering the acts of kindness, sometimes from complete strangers, that got her and her family through the trauma of that day. Things as simple as meal delivery and cutting the family’s grass.
“People rallied around our family and did such good deeds for us, and that’s why I’m standing here today,” Cindy said. “We need to get back to that kindness that existed back then, so that’s what I’m reflecting on.”
Cindy is part of an organization, 911 Day that promotes kindness, volunteering, and acts of service as a way of honor the victims.
“Think about what happened that day. People ran into buildings with no sense of self. They carried people down stairs who couldn’t make it themselves. They dug through rubble to dig bodies out and give remains to families. They baked and brought meals to people. They cooked for first responders,” Cindy said.
John Sindel survived, making it home from the 63rd floor of the North Tower back to his then 13-day-old daughter. His friend Steve urged him on.
“I know thousands of people lost the center of their lives that day and just the fact that my kids grew up with me and I get to see them growing up, it’s wonderful, it’s priceless, it’s a gift,” John said.
Like Cindy, John is marking this year’s anniversary by paying forward the acts of selflessness and courage he saw 20 years ago.
“I saw Rescue 1 going up the stairs, all 11 of them, and none of them made it out, and that’s always stuck with me. That’s first and foremost what always strikes me on this anniversary,” John said.
That’s what Mike and Cindy hope others do to remember and honor the victims of the attacks: give back, show kindness, show that you care, remember the unity that came from such a terrible tragedy.