Jendruchs were in NY on 9/11

During one of their trips to the United States to perform, on Sept. 8, 2001, the entire Jendruch family visited the World Trade Center towers in New York, where they all laughed and posed for pictures.

Three days later, while the towers were under attack from terrorists, the Jendruchs were sitting on a plane at John F. Kennedy International Airport getting ready to fly back home to Slovakia.

They had no idea what was happening at the monuments where they had just visited days earlier.

“Nothing. Nobody told us,” Maria Jendruchova said. “We were on the plane and waiting to go home.”

The harrowing, too-close-for-comfort memories remain difficult for Maria and her large family, who had visited the United States many times in the years before 9/11.

“I have a lot of friends here which are like my family and think of all the people who were around us and helped us so much,” Maria said as she tried to hold back her emotions. “Sometimes it’s hard to talk about that.”

The Jendruchs’ flight was delayed nine hours, and they spent many of those sitting on the plane on the tarmac. They didn’t find out what had happened until they landed in Prague.

“We were in shock and didn’t believe it, because we were there and standing on the top of the twins three days before,” Maria said. “It was very hard for us to see that.

“The first thought was, it’s a movie or what? We didn’t expect that, and we didn’t understand what was going on. We thought someone put a movie on the television. We didn’t know.”

The Jendruchs have visited New York again since that horrific day, but those memories still linger.

“We came back now and saw the place again,” Maria said. “It was very emotional for me because I saw everything that happened.”