By Kent Gray

Triplicate staff writer

When terrorists launched their attack against military and financial targets on the east coast Tuesday, the terror struck close to home for one Crescent City mother.

It was chilling, said Carolynn Starr. For some reason, I rose early on Tuesday and turned on the news just shortly after the attack.

Starrs son, Aubrey, who has worked for the New York Harbor District since 1998, also worked in the north tower of the World Trade Center buildings in New York City the first tower struck by a hijacked airliner.

Starr remembered how she reminded her son about the 1993 terrorist attack at the complex. I told him these people are very serious. You know if theyre going to start a job theyre going to want to finish it.

It was after seeing the first report that she immediately called her son in Manhattan.

It just happened I was able to get through on the phone, because you couldnt get through much after that, she said. His wife answered and said he was on his way out the door. I said, Stop him.

Aubrey Starr hadnt seen the news that morning. He was running about 10 minutes late and should have arrived for work on the 71st floor at 9 a.m. 10 minutes after the jet struck the tower.

When I told him what had happened, he said Youre kidding. I said, Turn on the news, said Carolynn Starr. It was while we were on the phone that the second attack happened.

The two ended the call for a few minutes. Aubrey Starr called his mother back at about 9:15 a.m.

He called back and said Oh God, I know people in there. Theyre all dead, recalled Carolynn Starr. Later, I thought I should have told him to call the Red Cross and tell them youre alive; Im sure theyd like to know.

Carolynn Starrs afterthought came too late because from that point on she was unable to reach New York by telephone.

I havent been able to get through to him for two days after that, she said. Theres an operator that comes on the line and says you cant get through.

Carolynn Starr then sent her son an e-mail, and received some good news in the response. Aubreys reply was:

I just spoke to Jim, my boss, again. He says that the Port Authority has confirmed that everyone who was on the 70th and 71st floors of World Trade Center One, which are the two floors for my department, got out of the building alive.

In her e-mail, Carolynn Starr told her son how sorry she was that all this had happened.

I am praying, she wrote. You must be in shock as is the nation. I love you all. Keep safe. Love Always, Mother.