They were, as a group, young. One-third were in their 30s.

Many had launched successful careers and were building young families. Some were immigrants, working hard to make it in America while still supporting relatives back home. Others -- 366 men and women -- dedicated their lives to rescue and protection as New York firefighters and police officers.

All were in the path of terrorism Sept. 11.

Although exactly how many died remains unclear three months later, officials have placed the toll in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania at more than 3,000.

The victims lived in almost 800 cities and towns in 40 states and the District of Columbia, and were citizens of at least 26 foreign countries, an Associated Press database indicates. More than 2,170 of them were men.

The average age of all of those killed was 40. Some 1,050 victims were in their 30s.

They worked for more than 330 companies, as executives, food service workers, brokers, carpenters, electricians, janitors and security guards.

The human toll at some individual companies was numbing.

The financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald lost more than 650 people. The New York Fire Department lost 343. Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc., a professional services firm, says it lost 295 people.

The city of New York was home to almost 1,100 victims. Some New Jersey towns were especially hard hit: Hoboken lost 43, Jersey City, 37, Middletown, 24, Basking Ridge, 18.

The number of foreign nationals who died remains inexact. But among them were some 120 citizens from 26 countries from Australia and Great Britain to Peru and China.

The youngest to die was 2-year-old Christine Lee Hanson, of Groton, Mass. The oldest was 85-year-old Robert Norton of Lubec, Maine. Both were passengers on planes that flew into the twin towers.

The AP database was constructed with information from medical examiners, legal records, funeral homes, places of worship, obituaries, employers, public agencies, families, friends and the AP's foreign bureaus.

It helps tell part of the story of the people who died. But there's much more to be told:

CAPT. JOSEPH FARRELLY

New York Fire Department Capt. Joseph Farrelly was romantic -- and proud of it.

Married to Stacey Farrelly for more than 22 years, he still left love notes on her pillow or on the seat of her car. Often, they were accompanied by flowers.

So before Farrelly went to work for what would be the last time, he wrote Stacey one final note.

"I can't begin to tell you how much I love you. Words are inadequate. Already I can't wait to get home," he wrote.

Farrelly, 47, of New York, is among 343 firefighters lost in the World Trade Center attacks.

A 22-year veteran of the department, Farrelly had faced danger at the World Trade Center before, hospitalized for smoke inhalation after it was bombed in 1993. But he loved his job.

"That's all he ever wanted to do," Stacey Farrelly said.

As for the frequent love notes, "I kind of thought everybody did this," she said.

She's kept them all. The last note he wrote is now framed in their home.

MANUEL ASITIMBAY

An immigrant from Ecuador, Manuel Asitimbay wanted his slice of the American dream.

A prep cook at the Windows on the World restaurant atop the World Trade Center, he hoped for his own home in the United States. But most of all, he wanted to bring his family from Ecuador to New York.

When Asitimbay died, he left behind a wife and son in New York, twin sons and his wife's son in Ecuador. All of them counted on him for emotional and financial support.

Asitimbay, 36, came to the United States in 1989, followed by his wife, Carmen Mejia, in 1995.

"He wanted to give a better future for his family," his wife said through a translator.

Asitimbay was undocumented, as is his wife. Their immigration status means Mejia may not get some of the same benefits that other victims' families received, said Dennis Diaz, lead organizer for Asitimbay's union, Local 100 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union.

Mejia spoke publicly about her situation in early December at the AFL-CIO's convention in Las Vegas.

"She hopes that other undocumented families will see the courage of what she's doing and come forward also," Diaz said.

Since the attacks, Mejia's three other children have arrived in New York from Ecuador and the union is working to get them permanent residency.

The hope, Diaz said, is to fulfill Asitimbay's wish to "live the American dream."

SGT. 1ST CLASS JOSE ORLANDO CALDERON

Army Sgt. 1st Class Jose Orlando Calderon had hoped to retire from the Army next year after 20 years of service. It was a job that had sometimes taken him away from home, and "I don't like to stay alone," says his wife, Gloria Calderon.

A native of Puerto Rico, Calderon, 44, had held his Pentagon post in the office of the deputy chief of staff for personnel for less than two years. He is one of 125 people who lost their lives on the ground at the Pentagon on Sept. 11.

Gloria Calderon met her husband through friends while she was living in Germany.

"He was a gentleman," she said. And he looked good to her, too.

They married in 1991, not long after they met, and just three days before he left for duty in the Persian Gulf. Gloria Calderon lives with their children, 10-year-old Vanessa and 3-year-old Jose, in Annandale, Va.

"It's very difficult to understand everything that happened," she said.

JOHN RESTA and SYLVIA SAN PIO

John Resta and his wife, Sylvia San Pio, were preparing the nursery for the birth in November of their first child. They didn't know the gender, but had narrowed their list of names to include Dylan, for a boy, and Julia, for a girl.

"They were really excited for the baby," said San Pio's sister, Laura San Pio.

Resta, 40, and San Pio, 26, were among 69 Carr Futures employees and hundreds of others in the financial industry who died in the attacks.

The couple, who lived in New York, married in the summer of 2000 and were an excellent match, said Resta's sister Chris Mazzeo.

"They were just so much in love," she said. "John doted on her every little whim."

Resta was ready to be a dad, a role he had plenty of training for with 10 nieces and nephews. Each year, he'd fill in at Grandparents Day at Mazzeo's children's school in New Jersey, because both sets of grandparents live out of state.

Laura San Pio said her sister had everything going for her: She had a career, was married, happy and expecting a baby.

"Any time to die is the worse time. For them, it was awful," she said. "They were just starting their life."

FELICIA TRAYLOR-BASS

Felicia Traylor-Bass, 38, was the office manager at Alliance Consulting and worked at the World Trade Center. She is one of the more than 600 women killed in the attacks.

At age 2, her son Sebastian knows something is wrong.

"He looks at the pictures and he sees her and he points to Mommy," said Andrew Bass, who lives in New York. "He knows she's not here, but he's too young to really understand why."

Bass is preparing for the day when Sebastian can better understand his mother's death. To help, he is putting together two scrapbooks for his son: one that describes his mother's life, and one that describes with photos and news accounts what happened on Sept. 11.

Sebastian's second birthday was in November, and Bass had a party for him.

"I just can't believe she's not here for this," he said.