Laura Gilly

Laura Gilly
World Trade Center

The Joy in Her Voice

For nine years, Laura Gilly traveled the world, all expenses paid; a perk from her life as a flight attendant. She saw Paris, she saw Rome, indulged in the exotic sights and sounds of Egypt, Jakarta and Kuwait.

But the thrill of being up in the air, away from family and friends eventually subsided. Ms. Gilly wanted out of her job with Tower Airlines. "She wanted a 9-to-5, so she could make plans without breaking them," said Phyllis Gilly, her mother. "So many times she wasn't home for Christmas or New Year's. She was really looking forward to stability."

And 16 months ago, she found it in a job working in technical support for Cantor Fitzgerald. Life was finally sweet and somewhat predictable, and Ms. Gilly, 32, was enjoying every minute of it, her mother said, recalling a phone conversation she had with her daughter weeks before Sept. 11.

The joy Mrs. Gilly heard in her daughter's voice has made it all the more difficult accepting the irony of her death. "We spent so much time worrying about her flying here and there, and to have her go like this: killed by a plane as she sat in an office building. All she wanted was a real job at a desk in a building."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 11, 2001.

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