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Nurse stands her ground at World Trade Center site

The site of the former Twin Towers is a place steeped in memory and, lately, controversy. But while Americans on both sides of the political spectrum argue over the best use for the site, Nurse Mary Regina Shane simply goes to work. To her, Ground Zero is a  headquarters of sorts, home base to her nursing career.

According to the New York Times, Nurse Reggi, as she’s called, was working as a nurse in the employee health unit of the Port Authority in the South Tower when terrorists detonated a bomb in the parking garage in 1993.  She escaped. In fact, she rescued another woman by pushing the woman out of the building.

Undaunted, Nurse Reggi returned to the World Trade Center in the last 1990s. When the 1st plane hit the North Tower on Sept. 11, 2001, Nurse Reggi was working in the Verizon workers’ compensation office on the ninth floor of the South Tower. She and others saw the flames and debris and fled the building.

Nurse Reggi stayed away from the site for almost five years after that, mostly out of deference to her mother, who feared for her daughter’s safety. But after her mother’s death, Nurse Reggi accepted another job in the same location. Today, she cares for construction workers laboring to bring life back to the site where so many died.


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Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN

Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.

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