Jake had wanted to join FDNY and marry Jamie since childhood. Now happily married and with a young daughter, Jamie worried about Jake's safety daily.
Eric is a corporate ladder climber, much to the dismay of his wife Laura. His neglect of his son causes her to consider divorce. He had struggled with his faith since their first child had been stillborn. Meanwhile his brother Clay was available to serve as a father figure for Josh.
The morning of 9/11 Jake resisted Jamie's request that he take a sick day. The first explosion took place soon after he got to the station. They sprung into action and joined the macabre chaos to get to work.
Eric and Allen were in their office on the 64th floor in the other WTC building. Eric was on the phone with Laura when the second plane hit his tower. She goes frantic when the phone goes dead.
Allen defies all warnings, and almost convinced Eric to stay and work. Eric tripped on his way down the stairs, and a fireman with an uncanny resemblance to him offered a hand. He noticed the fireman's helmet, which had a picture of "Sierra" taped inside. His mind raced as he made it down the remaining floors as the building lurched.
The firemen continue upward and try to help people as much as they can, even after they realize the building was collapsing, and that they probably wouldn't make it. Maxwell approaches Jake and tells him he needed to know about Jesus. Jake led him in a prayer of salvation, raising his voice above the rubble so that anyone within earshot could join in.
Jake's ladder company found him, alive but badly injured. He is incoherent, but the name "Sierra" comes into his mind before he lost consciousness. His captain calls Jamie, who gets to his side in the hospital. When he finally comes to, he remembers nothing except the name and face of Sierra. The doctor explains that memory loss could last weeks to months, and that she should treat him just like a friend, to speed his recovery.
Back at home and desperate to figure out how to help Jake, she decides, for the first time, to take a peek at his Bible and journal.
Laura and Clay travel to New York to search and put up flyers. Near Ground Zero, a police officer tells them that if Eric had not been found by then, he was dead.
Jamie spends her days at the hospital with Jake, playing games and watching TV. He was able to come home after a few days, but does not remember his house.
When he finds a wedding photo somewhat familiar, she introduces him to the Bible and journal. Two weeks of reading seemed to jog some of his memory, and he suggested to Jamie that the three of them go to church together.
Always resistant to attend church, she decided she would finally go if it would help Jake. She was impressed both by the outpouring of love by the congregants, and by the message given. Jake accepts the altar call to recommit his life. Three weeks later, Jamie does the same.
Laura begins to go through Eric's belongings, and she finds a heartfelt card that Eric had written to their stillborn child, expressing the profound grief that he had never shared.
Jake has a dream about 9/11, and then goes with Jamie to the firehouse. Capt. Hisel wonders aloud to Jamie if the man was actually Jake. Jamie remembered seeing an "O" blood type on Jake's medical report, which would be wrong but was explained away, but is incredulous at the suggestion.
Jake then reports of flashbacks, of him running down a long flight of stairs, a fireman helping him up, the firefighter's helmet. Indeed, Jake did not exactly act and walk like himself, and his face and voice had been affected such that she could not be sure.
After another flashback, Jake tells Jamie that he remembered two people with whom he wanted to make things right again, and that they were not Jamie and Sierra.
Jamie took him to take a blood test, desperate to hear that he was AB positive, but he was O negative.
They agreed that he would still act as if he was Jake, mainly for Sierra and to avoid the inevitable media attention.
They scour news and lists of the dead and missing. "Jake" has a flashback of the fireman telling him of Sierra.
Soon "Jake" sees a commercial for his firm on TV, and knows that he worked for Coppell and Grant. Jamie calls the firm, and gets information on Eric Michaels.
Meanwhile, Laura was getting on with her life when Murphy calls her with the news of Eric being in New York.
Jamie calls Laura, and makes arrangements to meet at LaGuardia. That morning Eric tells heart wrenching goodbyes to Sierra and Jamie, then greets Laura as they began their new life together. They chat all the way back west, and Eric reunites with his brother and son.