After her friend died in South Tower fire, a 9/11 survivor has spoken out about how she lost the ability to look at photos of the attacks for over ten years. 

Lisa Ridd, 22, was living in New York City when she began working at the World Financial Center.  

Lisa, who lives just two blocks from Twin Towers’ Twin Towers, initially assumed that the disturbance was due to a nearby parade. But she only realized the extent of the situation when she saw the plane coming towards her. 

Soon Lisa became concerned about her best friend, Lindsay, who had began working on the 89th floor of the South Tower just months earlier, frantically contacting her, convinced she may have survived.  

A year later, Lisa decided to partake in a documentary project, titled Memory Box, where she shared a raw confession about how she was unable to process her friend’s death.

Lisa, 43 years old, appears in the series again. Lisa spoke to FEMAIL to say that it took her ten year to acknowledge the events.  

Lisa Ridd, 43, appeared on Sky documentary series Memory Box after sharing her personal testimony of the attack on the Twin Towers over 20 years ago

After sharing her personal story of the Twin Towers attack over twenty years ago, Lisa Ridd (43), appeared on Sky’s documentary series Memory Box 

Lisa recalled her awe-inspiring account of the attacks on the Twin Towers at the age of 22, where her best friend Lindsay (pictured with Lisa) tragically died on the 89th floor of the South Tower

Lisa shared her amazing account of the Twin Towers attacks at 22 years old. Lindsay, her best friend (pictured with Lisa), tragically passed away on the 89th Floor of South Tower. 

She stated that she believed she was still processing. “I got stuck for quite a while. The topic was a difficult one for me to discuss. It was so difficult to look at photos that I could not hear the people discussing it. This went on for many years. 

“It was actually a decade before it occurred to me that I could see that picture of the smoke coming out of the tower. That was so powerful for me, and because I was young I did not have the right tools.  

Lisa met Lindsay at the age of 18 while they were studying at Williams University in Massachusetts, where the pair bonded over their love of tennis and music.

Lisa said that Lisa was right when she stated, “She was the brightest light in the room.” She was a music lover, and dancer more than anyone else. She was kind, funny and smart.

The World Trade Center is pictured shortly before the second plane slammed into the South tower as the North tower burned following an earlier attack

Pictured shortly after the second plane crashed into the South Tower, the World Trade Center was pictured as the North tower burnt following an earlier attack

“I loved being with her. “I loved being around her.  

After graduating the pair moved away from Massachusetts, with Lindsay going to work for a year in Washington before joining Lisa, who was working as a trader for Lehman Brothers, in New York. 

Lisa stated that Lisa was 22 years old, single, and was living in New York City. Lisa believes this made her life great. “I wasn’t aware of the current political climate. Although I did read the newspaper, my mind wasn’t totally disengaged. However I had a great time in New York. 

“It’s impossible to imagine anyone, not even those with their eyes open all the time, anticipating this.” 

Lisa arrived at three World Financial Center at 6.30am on September 11th 2001, remembering what ‘perfect blue sky day’ it was, and was on the phone to a client when the first plane hit the North Tower. 

“We were next to it and saw people rush over the windows. It was so juvenile that I assumed there was some sort of parade. 

Memory Box: How 9/11 survivors came together to share their personal testimonies

Appearing on the series on September 10th, 2002, Lisa Ridd, nee Knappen, delivered a moving testimony of her experience on 9/11

Lisa Ridd, born Lisa Knappen, gave an emotional testimony to her 9/11 experience, appearing on the series September 10, 2002.

In the months following the 9/11 attacks nearly six hundred people – survivors and eyewitnesses – entered a simple plywood video booth. 

This safe area was used by ordinary people to capture their deepest emotions of loss, trauma, and grief using an inexpensive self-operating camera. 

Many personal testimony were presented, which led to the creation of a unique film called MEMORYBOX: ECHOES FROM 9/11. 

Some of the original contributors returned to the site twenty years later in the Covid pandemic. The new booth allows for reflection on grief and living during current times.  

Lisa Ridd, also known as Knappen, gave an emotional testimony to her personal experience on the show on September 10, 2002. 

This is not because I am ready or it would work for me.

One of the men at my desk grabbed hold of me, and said “Let’s go!” After all of the debris had fallen. 

Then it hit me: Lindsay Morehouse (one of my closest friends) was on the second tower’s 89th-floor floor. It’s obvious she’s fine. There’s no way that anything could go wrong to me.  

Maybe now that I have this out of my system, I’m more open to talking about it and taking responsibility for Lindsay’s passing. But, I can’t forget the fact that she is gone. It’s still so much to consider.  

This confessional will be shown on SKY Documentaries at 9 pm, 18 January.

“Someone said something about bombs. I thought it was ridiculous, but the more experienced people on the trading floors quickly told me to hang up the phone and that we were evacuating. 

Lisa was unaware of the gravity of her situation and left everything behind, even her wallet. 

Although there was talk of an aircraft, no one knew what was happening as a flood of people came to the streets. 

“Officially, everyone was very confused about how an plane could have hit The World Trade Centre. Of course it had to have been an accident. It was not me who speculated about terrorist acts, or the conversations I had with people at one point. 

Lisa, who was the older sister of Lisa in the next building, panicked when she realized there was no other way to get her loved ones. 

Lisa said, “I didn’t have a way of getting in touch so I started walking around looking for her. As I was walking away from the World Trade Centre that’s where I noticed the second plane come round the bend”. 

“I had never before seen a plane approaching me and was shocked to see it coming at me. 

“I turned, and I ran the other way. Many people were following my lead.” Pandemonium was the result. That’s when it became clear that there was more to the story and panic set in.

Lisa found her sister and boyfriend in the chaos, but was afraid of more attack. Lisa decided to flee on foot to her apartment.  

“On the way to her apartment, we decided to go into a nearby church. That’s when she saw the South Tower fall. We came out of that church, and couldn’t make out the South Tower. 

Lisa attempted to contact Lindsay desperately, but Lindsay was unable to get in touch with her. Lisa says Lindsay became even more convinced that the Twin Towers attacks were terroristic after the second tower fell. 

According to her, “When the second airplane hit it was obvious it was deliberate.” She said, “I do not know if the word terrorist was used at that time. However, I did recognize there was something going on, and it was extremely dangerous.” 

“I haven’t seen any plane fly other than take off or land at an airport. This was something completely different. It made me feel very unsafe. Further danger and my worries were related to Lindsay, which turned out be true.  

She and Lisa evacuated to Lisa’s sister’s home and contacted her parents immediately. Later, Lisa reached out to their parents and friends who were in the area of the attack, along with Lindsay and her mum. 

“We saw people jump out of towers at 100ft. We saw smoke billowing from these towers. You’ll need your parents to make you feel secure. We witnessed things that I had never seen.  

Lisa traveled to Virginia with her parents in the following days, and stayed there for several days.

Lisa hoped desperately that her friend, who was also her best friend, would survive the attack and be found alive in the wake of it all.  

She stated that she was convinced. “I heard a story that Lindsay was trapped in an elevator, and the rubble was everywhere. 

I kept calling her, calling every day. Her company had a hotline where they could give me information. Three days after September 11, I believe, her mom called me and told us that she would have the funeral within three weeks. 

“I felt like it was a funeral? Was that what you were talking about? “She was there someplace.” It is possible that they had some proof she didn’t survive. 

In the months following the attacks Lisa’s office was temporarily moved to New Jersey, and while she says her employers were incredibly accommodating, she never took up any counseling services that may have been offered. 

She said that she had avoided this topic completely. You can when your young and busy, and then the rawness of the topic kind of becomes softer over time so that you can deal with it. That’s not to suggest I was processing it. 

In the years following the attacks, Lisa stuck up a romance with her now husband – a British national who she met over the phone while working at Leeman Brothers.   

Lisa and the husband of 12 year old Lisa have 4 children. Their oldest, who is now 12, was six years old, and Lisa, two, are seven years older. Lisa claims that it wasn’t until she learned in school about the attack on her daughter, Lisa, that Lisa realized she had to deal with her trauma. 

After evacuating to her sister's flat, she and Lisa immediately contacted their parents. The family are pictured on holiday when Lisa and her sister were children

Lisa and Lisa immediately called their parents, after she had evacuated to the flat of her sister. Lisa’s sister and their family were kids when Lisa was on vacation. 

“Okay. I think I should tell my kids my story ”,’, she replied.  

Visiting the World Trade Center memorial was a monumental point for Lisa, who says she was finally able to reach out to Lindsay’s mum following her visit. 

She said, “You don’t know how powerful photos are until you look at them.” There are many holes that can never be filled. You can only hear the water moving through. It is so soothing and feels like it’s cleansing the endless energy cycle.  You are all alive. I can’t think of any better way to commemorate this spot. 

“So that was a very beautiful way to confront it. To find Lindsay’s Name and be surrounded all of these other names. Because there were so many people that died that day and so much people still grieving those people. So that was an Important Day I Think.  

Lisa met Lindsay at the age of 18 while studying at Williams University in Massachusetts, where they bonded over their love of tennis and music

Lindsay met Lisa when she was 18 years old while attending Williams University, Massachusetts. They became close over their mutual love for tennis and music.

Lindsay was honored for her participation in the documentary, which she believes has helped her process trauma better. 

According to her, “It was hard to decide it felt like a very hard thing to do and an important topic to contemplate in such profound ways.” It was a very traumatic experience, and a very difficult time.

“I lost one my closest friends. This was not an easy choice. I feel that this is part of the history of me. 

“It’s not just my story, it belongs to all of us. It’s one that should be told for the future. I think it would be unlucky to have it in this way. But that’s history. 

“It felt, despite my fear that I would go back to that psychological place, it felt really important that I share my story in an updated manner.  

Lisa shared her thoughts on Lindsay. It was so easy to find songs that she liked. The songs she loved were her favorites. 

“I believe she left this bond to us through music. She was so full of life that I often think back to her. 

MEMORY BOX – ECHOES of 9/11′ will start airing on Sky TV from January 18th and now TV. Learn more TwitterFollow us on Instagram