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My name is Anne Leonhart from Fargo, ND. I am a complete stranger to all of you and even to Ann. I was however quite moved by the Nelson family on that unforgettable day and every day since. You see, I was working at Sprint PCS here in Fargo on the day Gary Nelson called to find out if I had access to Ann's most recent phone log. I remember our conversations as if they were just yesterday.

Along with everyone else on Earth, my shocked and worried eyes were glued to the news channels to see the destruction someone had created on US soil. The phone didn't really ring much on September 11, 2001 but when it did, it was very difficult to find an ounce of composure to answer it in that cheerful "customer service-y" way, "Thank you for calling Sprint PCS, this is Anne." On the other end of the line there was a short pause followed by an, "Ahem, what did you say your name was?' I replied, "This is Anne." He said, "My name is Gary Nelson from Stanley, ND. My daughter's name is also Ann." Only for a short moment I thought, "COOL!" until he continued, "She works at Canton Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center, New York City." My knees immediately became flaccid which caused me to plop down hard into my chair. I knew at that point I needed to keep it together and do whatever it was Mr. Nelson needed, right now. Even though I had never talked with Mr. Nelson in my whole life, I could tell he didn't sound like him. He was so scared and worried, I could feel it through the hundreds of miles of phone lines between us. I informed him that I could access up to the minute call logs on her account. Through the waterfall of tears falling from my eyes and the Kleenex that blocked my perfect vision, I was able to find out that her last phone call was made that morning to her boyfriend in Chicago shortly after 8am NYC time. Apparently she was running just a couple minutes late for work but was able to squeeze in one last call to him right as she got to her desk.

I told Mr. Nelson I would keep a very close eye on her account all day to look for any additional activity. After a few minutes of conversation as to how all this phone stuff works, Mr. Nelson and I shared our fears, with tears, of this situation. It had been hours since she made a call on her cell phone.

I felt really important to the Nelson family as I could possibly have news, hope, answers or anything that would make their worst fear go away. He gave me his home phone number so I could let him know when new calls showed up. I probably looked at that call log 700 times that day, including three minutes after hanging up with Mr. Nelson. I prayed that Ann had made a pile of calls each time I looked. Nothing. That was what I had to tell Mr. Nelson a few hours later when he called, just to see. He was so full of hope as was I.

He told me all about her, how much he had missed her when she moved, again, but farther from home. He beamed with pride for her successes in life. He was so proud of her for "going for it" and traveling and experiencing as much as she did. He admired her kind and selfless heart that was so full of love.

I gave him my schedule for the week, called him right as I got to work for the day everyday, if he didn't already beat me to it and before I left work each night. I wanted him to know, I was seriously on it. We stayed positive as each day passed.

We ended our short companionship on that following Friday, the 14th of September, 2001 with the realization that she was gone. Not one call was made from her phone since the morning of September 11th shortly before an airplane collided with her beautiful view of New York City. We shared tears again that day for his lost daughter with the same name as me.

I am writing this to let the Nelson's know that there hasn't been a day that has gone by that I haven't thought of them, and of course, Ann. I pray for them each and every day. I have seen all the TV spots and interviews, I've read all the articles pertaining to their tragic loss and have adopted Ann's list as one of my own. She was a brilliant girl with amazing parents that have made an incredible impact on my life. I, will never forget..........

In Christ,

Anne Leonhart