Winnipegger heads to NY for 9/11 memorial

A Winnipeg woman whose partner was killed in the 9/11 terror attacks is heading to New York this weekend to mark the 10th anniversary of the tragedy.
Michael Egan, Christine Egan and Michael's son Jonathan. Michael and Christine were killed when terrorists attacked the Twin Towers of New York's World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. (CBC)

A Winnipeg woman whose partner was killed in the 9/11 terror attacks is heading to New York this weekend to mark the 10th anniversary of the tragedy.

Ellen Judd lost her partner, Christine Egan, in one of the Twin Towers of New York's World Trade Center when they were destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001.

The 9/11 memorial is two square pools located where the Twin Towers formerly stood and inscribed with the names of those who died in the terror attacks. ((

Egan's brother, Michael, worked on the 105th floor of the south tower, which was struck by a hijacked jumbo jet at 9:03 a.m. ET. The north tower was hit by a plane at 8:46 a.m.

Within two hours, both towers collapsed.

Judd said the tragedy is always on her mind, but believes this year will be especially moving because of the official unveiling of a special museum and memorial at Ground Zero, inscribed with the names of those who lost their lives.

"It feels more personal and touching to me than some of the previous years," she said.

"In New York, they're always very good about honouring every single person that was lost that day."

Judd said Egan would be pleased about a scholarship that was established in her name to help nursing students in Canada's north.

So far, 21 scholarships have been handed out to 17 recipients who have been able to complete their studies and work in places such as Nunavut.

Egan, who was passionate about nursing in the north, worked in Winnipeg for Health Canada as a nurse epidemiologist.

The 9/11 tragedy was the result of four coordinated suicide attacks against targets in New York and Washington, D.C., when members of al-Qaeda hijacked four passenger jets.

After the Twin Towers were hit, the hijackers crashed a third plane into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.

A fourth plane crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, when passengers attempted to wrest control from the terrorists. The passengers' action prevented the plane from reaching its intended target in Washington, D.C.

A total of 2,996 people died: 19 hijackers and 2,977 victims.

Twenty-four Canadians were killed. There were 19 men and five women.

The youngest was 30 years old, the oldest was 70.

Christine and Michael Egan

Born June 20, 1946, and July 13, 1950

The brother and sister immigrated to Canada from Hull, England, in the 1960s.

In 1991, Michael moved from Montreal to the United States. He lived in Lincroft, New Jersey, and worked on the 105th floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center as an executive for the insurance firm Aon Corp.

Michael and his wife, Anna, had two sons together, Matthew and Jonathan. Michael spent much of his time introducing his son Matthew, who has Down's syndrome, to various sports. His passion, Anna has said, "was to make Matthew as happy as he could be."

In September 2001, Christine came to visit and to stay in New Jersey so Michael and Anna could go off to Bermuda to celebrate their 20th anniversary. She arrived a few days early and was with Michael, visiting his office, when the planes hit the World Trade Center.

Christine worked in Winnipeg for Health Canada and also taught at the University of Manitoba. In 1999, at age 53, she received a PhD in community health services.

Friends and family say Christine was a woman with a beaming smile and they remember her as one of the most energetic, fun-loving people they knew.