Groton woman walks in memory of fiancé killed in 9/11 attacks
East Lyme — Despite Sunday morning's rain, two area women participated in the virtual 9/11 Memorial Nationwide Run/Walk.
Miosotys Santiago of Groton was joined by her friend Michelle Allen on the Niantic Bay Boardwalk as they walked in honor of Santiago's late fiancé, Andrew J. Bailey, who died in the terrorist attack on the World Trade center. Bailey was a security supervisor for the Marsh McLennan insurance brokerage.
Santiago has participated in the annual event in New York City with friends, though last year's walk was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year's event was virtual, and participants logged their walks from across the country with the goal of hitting 20,000 miles.
"I know it's raining, but I just can't stop smiling," Santiago said from underneath her umbrella. "That's all Andrew shining down."
Santiago is a survivor of the attack, herself.
A New York City native, she worked at the World Trade Center and happened to be 40 minutes late that morning after dropping off her kids at school. She remembers walking to the plaza, hearing a plane overhead and watching it hit the building.
On instinct, she said, she went inside the building to help.
"Someone grabbed me and pulled me out of there, I wish I knew who, and we ran for our lives," she recalled. A photo published in Newsweek shows Santiago rushing from the building with a female police officer.
Santiago was injured by debris that hit her back as she escaped to safety.
"I lost it all that day," she said, "my love, my friends, my job."
She spent the following months at the site trying to find Bailey, holding his photo and toothbrush.
She has since moved to southeastern Connecticut and now works as a motivational speaker, consultant and author. Her recent memoir, "God's Diamond," is for sale on her website, exemplify2edify.org.
"It's a day that's inspired me every day to this day," she said of Sept. 11, 2001. "Loss is a powerful thing that has propelled me to help others through this day."
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