Five words, two numbers: how a father’s note on 9/11 reached his family

A heartrending new take on September 11, from the Stamford Advocate: 

The note is just five words and two numbers.

Randy Scott scrawled these five words and two numbers on a piece of paper on Sept. 11, 2001, while at work at Euro Brokers Inc. in the World Trade Center.

But if a picture is worth a thousand words, these five words and two numbers have changed the picture completely for Scott’s family. Family members refer to it simply as “the note.” The note that floated from the 84th floor of Two World Trade Center to chaotic streets below, and was tenderly preserved as it traveled from hand to hand and through time to reach them.

Denise Scott learned of her husband’s message in August 2011, just weeks before the calendar marked a decade since he died in the World Trade Center’s collapse.

For those 10 years, his family members believed he likely died instantly when United Airlines Flight 175 flew into the tower at 9:03 a.m., near the floors containing Euro Brokers offices.

The words of Denise and her children overlap as they consider how the note changed their oral history of Randy’s final moments. Each delivers a piece of the agonizing account as though trying to spare the others.

“I spent 10 years hoping that Randy wasn’t trapped in that building,” Denise, 57, said Friday from a front room in her Stamford home with two of her three daughters, Rebecca, 29, and Alexandra, 22, at her side.

“I thought he was killed instantly,” Rebecca interjected.

“It was so close to impact,” Alexandra concluded.

Randy Scott’s daughters fought tears as his message again triggered new mental images.

In a steady tone, their mother explained the power of the note. “You don’t want them to suffer. They’re trapped in a burning building. It’s just an unspeakable horror. And then you get this 10 years later. It just changes everything.”

“84th floor

West Office

12 people trapped”

It is not these words alone that change the narrative of Randy Scott’s final moments. The other content on the note is a dark spot, about the size of a thumbprint. It is Randy’s blood, and the clue that eventually enabled the medical examiner’s office to trace the source of the note through DNA tests and deliver it to his family a decade after he apparently tossed it from the 84th floor.

Read it all.  


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