Tuesday marks 11 years since the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001, and now the wife of one man who perished is revealing how she relived the heartache last year when the final note written by her husband finally made it's way to her hands, reported the Stamford Advocate.
"The Note" survived the collapse of the Twin Towers and was passed from person to person before it finally reached home and landed in the hands of his wife, Denise, destroying her enduring hope that he had at least had a merciful death.
"I spent 10 years hoping that Randy wasn't trapped in that building," said Denise, 57, from Stamford, Connecticut. "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.”
Along with his final words, the note contained a trace amount of Randy's blood, and a DNA test confirming a match meant that the New York City Medical Examiner’s office could finally track down his family.
Scott had tried calling Denise at the school where she teaches after the tower was hit, but believing the crash was just minor, he simply left her a message saying he was fine.
In the aftermath of the attacks, the desperate wife and her three daughters searched frantically at the hospitals near ground zero looking for evidence that he may have survived. When nothing came up, they comforted themselves with the belief that because Randy's office was so close to the point of impact that he would have died instantly.
"Everyone hoped that it was right on impact. That he didn't suffer," said daughter, Alexandra, 22.
Just before the 10th anniversary of the attack, Denise was contacted by Dr. Barbara Butcher, the head of forensics investigations for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York and were told they had found "'something written,' And that's when I just fell apart," she said.
"The minute I saw it I didn't need to see the DNA test," she told the Advocate. "I saw the handwriting. It's Randy's handwriting."
The note had been dropped from the 84th floor, it was then discovered by someone on the street, who immediately handed it to a guard at the Federal Reserve Bank just before the building collapsed."He (the guard) went to radio, and the building was gone. The building collapsed," explained Denise.
The scrap of paper ended up at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, where staff explain that it is extremely rare. "I don't know of anything else like it," Jan Ramirez, chief curator of the museum, said to the Advocate.
"There have been other pieces of paper that came out of the towers that day, to which we have been able to attach some powerful stories, but none have been quite as rare and unusual and inspiring and sad and touching as this particular one. It really is in a class by itself," said Ramirez.
After being delivered to his family, the piece of history has now been returned to the museum where it is being displayed as part of an exhibit on the final moments inside the towers.
"It's so amazing to think that Randy Scott wrote it and it eventually ended up with his wife and three daughters, which is an amazing arc of a day," Ramirez said to the Advocate. "We are incredibly proud to be able to show it and I think it will be one of the most powerful artifacts in the museum."