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Marie Linhart

Marie Linhart

...Oh please, oh God, please help me...

On that rainy day, Marie Linhart would lose seven of her girlfriends.  She remembers sliding "down and down" into the water and then a "force brought me back up."  She said when her head surfaced, her hands were free but all around her were "picnic baskets and bodies and people and everything."  Marie was able to grab a life preserver hook.

"My fingers were all bruised and bloody but I held onto it.  People were screaming and crying and here I was finally looking up.  There were a couple of men looking down and as we were trying to save ourselves, I said, "Oh please, oh God, please help me."  The man answered, "I got my wife and child in there."  I said, "Oh please help me.  Maybe somebody is helping your wife and child."

"The man laid down on the side up there and reached down and grabbed my hands and hiked me up.  Looking down, all I could see was hair and hands and feet and picnic baskets and children crying."

"I thought I was gonna get torn back down, people were just grabbing and holding and trying to get out.  My skirt was off, my shoes were off, my clothes were torn."

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reprinted from the Chicago Tribune

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