Yesterday, the Fire Department released 1,613 phone calls made to fire and EMS dispatchers, and the calls are just heartbreaking. The Mayor explained why the calls had been withheld by the city - they were only released upon a lawsuit - saying, "The real issue here is to protect the families...[was it] really is worth putting the families through reliving the grief that I think none of the rest of us would possibly imagine." At any rate, he apologized for the delay in the tapes' release, which he blamed on a Fire Department manager (way to pass the buck). But the victims' families are listening to the tapes in hopes that lessons can be learned. The NY Times notes what the Sally Regenhard, mother of Christian Regenhard, a firefighter who was killed at the South Tower, said:

“It took five years to hear a scintilla of confirmed information,” Mrs. Regenhard said, adding that many public officials had demanded fast explanations for Con Edison’s performance during the recent blackout in Queens, but that few had broached the question of the emergency response on Sept. 11.

Melissa Doi, the 32 year old woman whose 911 call was played during Zacarias Moussaoui's trial, and the 911 operator who tried the comfort her are the subject of an editorial in the NY Sun: "Yesterday, [Doi's] voice testified to something else — to the way in which the unique spirit of New Yorkers allowed glimmers of light to shine through even on that darkest of sunny summer days...[T]he operator was New York at its best, both compassionate and pragmatic, and unwilling to give up so long as there was any hope onto which to hold." And Newsday has a transcript of her call. The NY Times has an extensive site about the 9/11 Records.

Photograph of firefighter Al Fuentes, left, who was trapped in the World Trade Center rubble but escaped, and Al and Sally Regenhard, parents of firefighter Christian Regenard, who was killed in theTrade attacks, from Kathy Willens/AP