New York Times Portraits of Grief

Joanna Vidal

On the Monday night before the terrorist attack, Joanna Vidal, a 26-year- old event coordinator for Risk Waters, the London- based financial publishing house, was ecstatic. The first day of the company's conference at Windows on the World, an event she had helped create, had been a brilliant success. And at dinner with her father, Enrique, and her mother, Lesbia, in their Yonkers home, "she was so hurried, making her preparations, that she was eating standing up," Mr. Vidal recalled.

In fact, the first day had gone so smoothly that Ms. Vidal was hoping to leave the conference after the first speaker; after all, so much work was waiting on her desk in her office at 270 Lafayette Street. And so on Tuesday morning she hurried to the trade center at 5:30 a.m. After the attack, "she called from the conference and said the building was on fire," Mr. Vidal said. "She said, `I want you to know that no matter what happens, I love you.' And then she was cut off."