Thursday, September 11, 2003

Pat Garrett, Starfire

Helping others helps heal

By Robert Anglen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Pat Garrett's world narrowed to the size of a television screen. The 49-year-old insurance executive sat transfixed as the World Trade Center collapsed, knowing that her friends and co-workers never made it out alive.

Pat Garrett packs lunches to be distributed to the homeless at Zion Baptist Church in Avondale.
(Mike Simons photo)

And then came the guilt.

"It was really by the grace of God that I wasn't there," she said. "I knew where the plane hit. It was obvious to me that people on our floor were not going to get out."

Garrett said she became totally inactive, "a basket case."

Even though she constantly traveled as part of her job, she reported to the World Trade Center offices of Marsh Inc., which had employees on the upper floors of both towers. From her home here, Garrett began questioning her connections to those who died, wondering about her role in their lives, and theirs in hers.

She volunteered for Starfire, which aids people with special needs, providing trips and outings for the developmentally disabled and mentally ill. As she resumed her career at Marsh, Garrett continued volunteering. "Starfire was a big part of my recovery," she said.


Cincinnati remembers in solemn prayers, reflective moments
Schedule of local events
Updates on today's memorials across the country
Emotional impact of 9-11 blunts as world changes
PULFER: Still grieving? Blame the media
9-11 aftermath stays with Loveland man
How Greater Cincinnati marked the first anniversary
Profiles of area victims in the 2001 attacks
3-D graphic of plans for the World Trade Center site
Photos of the attacks on the World Trade Center
Photos of the attacks on the Pentagon
Photos of Flight 73
Special multimedia coverage from Gannett News Service

Strong at first, volunteer spirit has waned
Here's how to get involved
Profiles of local volunteers:
16-year-old helps kids get the chance to dance
Dad impresses by going fishing
Arthritis can't keep her from job
Helping others helps heal
Math tutor gets lesson
When disaster hits, he responds
Mentors ease the teen years
Variety is the spice of giving

Two years later, we must not forget
Other voices on the lessons of 9/11

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