SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - On the 12th anniversary of September 11 attacks, the nation remembers, reflects and continues to heal from the worst attack on U.S. soil.
It's a day with horrific images engrained in the minds of a nation, but especially traumatic for those close to the attack. Nearly 3,000 people were killed on Sept 11, 2001.
Santa Barbara resident Bob Niehaus and his wife Margaret were attending a conference at the Marriott Hotel just feet away from the World Trade Center towers.
When American Airlines flight 11 crashed into the North tower just before 9 a.m. Eastern time, the couple was not together. The hotel was quickly evacuated amid panic and terror in New York City. Bob and his wife could not find each other for more than five hours, as cellphone reception was down. Bob was finally able to get through to his son in California who informed him that his wife had taken a ferry to Staten island. It took him two-hours to get to her.
The Niehauses managed to rent one of the last rental cars available and drove 3 1/2 days back to Santa Barbara. Now 12 years later, they say the healing process has not been easy. However, they add that they are more complete individuals, less concerned with what they don't have, and more content with what they do.
NewsChannel 3 reporter Shirin Rajaee has their amazing story.