For The "Dust Lady," Things Somehow Got Worse After 9/11
On the morning of September 11, 2001, Marcy Borders went to work as a bank teller ... on the 81st floor of the World Trade Center. Yes, obviously you know what's coming, but Marcy had no idea. She'd only started the job four weeks previously. A few hours later, the first plane struck the tower while she was making copies. The impact knocked her to the ground. She got up and ran for the stairs. While she tried to escape, the building started to collapse, resulting in so much smoke and dust that you could literally see it from space. As she fled the crumbling tower, Borders was obviously blanketed in the stuff. Photographer Stan Honda took her picture as she cleared the building, and the image became iconic of the attacks. She had become the "Dust Lady." And without even a radioactive vacuum accident of some kind.
Though witnesses spotted multiple heroes in the area that day.
Borders fell into a decade-long depression after the attack, and reported symptoms consistent with PTSD. Her life spiraled downward, and she turned to alcohol and drugs to alleviate her mental anguish. In the years to come, her life came apart at the seams. She lost her job, her two children were taken from her, and she separated from her partner of 14 years. It's not often a terrorist attack is considered "uphill," but for Borders, it may have been. It took her 10 years to turn things around. In 2011, she managed it. She checked herself into rehab, and while there, she found out Osama bin Laden had been killed -- always a picker-upper. Having found a new lease on life, Borders began to pull her life back together. She reconnected with her children and her partner, and began volunteering in the community.
We hope the community had a bin Laden pinata she could volunteer at.