The widow asked if her husband was scared on the day of the attack. "He wasn't scared, but I was scared," the woman replied.
Twenty years have passed since the towers of the World Trade Center collapsed and fell to the ground. But Jaime Amoroso still remembers the conversation she had with her husband that day, on September 11, 2001, right before he stepped out of the house for work. "It was a beautiful day," she recalled, according to NBC DFW. "I remember he left and he said I'm working at the World Trade Center."
Her husband, Port Authority Police Officer Christopher Charles Amoroso, was leaving for work, and Jaime remembers telling him to be careful. "He goes, 'what's going to happen?'" Jaime recalled.
Like so many others, Officer Amoroso then went to work that day as usual but did not come back home alive. When the twin towers were attacked, Officer Amoroso was one of many who helped evacuate innocent people to safety and sacrificed his life so that others could have theirs.
Others before self; Port Authority Police Officer Christopher Amoroso, EOW 9/11/01, World Trade Center. ALWAYS HONORED, NEVER FORGOTTEN. #PAPDPROTECTSNYNJ #PAPD #PAPBA #WTC #SEPTEMBER11 pic.twitter.com/GT5O4wH4dn— Port Authority PBA (@PAPD911) September 11, 2019
"I knew when the second tower fell. I had a feeling that it wasn't going to be good. I just knew," said his wife, who married him in November 1999 and shared a daughter with him. Before Officer Amoroso's death, he was captured saving a woman's life by Daily News photographer Todd Maisel.
"[The photo] was given to me," Jaime said. "It was good and bad. We have the proof he was a hero. He saved this woman."
However, Jaime spent the next two decades never knowing whether that woman was still alive. "I started to think maybe he didn't save her, or get her far enough, because we had never found her or had anybody ever spoken to her," the bereaved wife shared.
About 20 years after Officer Amoroso displayed great bravery in saving innocent lives, his wife finally found out that the woman in the picture is alive and well.
The woman's son identified her and said: "That woman Officer Amoroso is seen helping in this photo is my mother, Suman Dhamija. My mother has severe asthma so after running down the stairs of the 2nd tower and with all the debris and smoke in the air, she could not breathe. Officer Amoroso helped lift her up and walk away from the towers. This photo was taken before the 2nd tower collapsed."
At the time of the attack, Dhamija was working in the tower and still remembers the conversation she had with the dedicated officer. "He said, 'Ma'am, relax. We are here to help,'" Dhamija said. "I wish the best for his family, for his loved ones. If he wasn't there, there is no way I could have made it."
Dhamija said she never got a chance to thank the officer and "always felt bad because I have lived my life, and he was still so young."
As time passed, Dhamija became a grandmother and is currently living in India. The one thing she wanted Jaime to know was that she "had such a wonderful husband and that I'm alive because of him."
Mon.11/11, Staten Island, NY; Sophia (C) & Jamie Amoroso, daughter & wife of #PAPD PO Christopher Amoroso, EOW 9/11/01, were presented the Stephen Siller Hero to Hero Award at the Tunnel2Towers Vets. Day Golf Classic, Hilton Gardens Nicotra. #PAPDPROTECTSNYNJ #tunnel2towers #WTC pic.twitter.com/Sm0IrLMEm2— Port Authority PBA (@PAPD911) November 12, 2019
Finally, the two women were able to meet each other over a video call, and Jaime said: "I can't believe she's alive. I can't believe she has the same face. She's the last person with him. He went in with a purpose, to want to save as many people as possible. The fact that I get to hear somebody say it."
Jaime told Dhamija over the call: "You look exactly the same. If I walked past you on the street, I would have known who you were because I've looked at that picture so many times. I'm glad he did his job that day, so you could be with your family."
"Did he seem scared?" Jaime asked. "He wasn't scared, but I was scared," Dhamija replied.
Two decades after the tragedy, a new relationship began to bloom as Jaime finally got to meet the woman her husband saved. "Life goes on," Jaime told Dhamija. "Chapter's closed, I guess. Looking forward to starting new things. It's time."
Cover image source: Port Authority PBA/Twitter