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Keeping Their Memories Alive


The U.S. faced one of the most horrendous attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, that resulted in the death of nearly 3,000 Americans.

 A terrorist group that went by the name al Qaeda hijacked four airplanes. Two planes attacked the World Trade Center, the third plane struck at the Pentagon, and the last one crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, in the middle of a field.

In New York City, 2,740 people died when both planes crashed into the twin towers. Another 300 were killed in Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon combined. Once help arrived at the scenes, they estimated that over 400 police officers and firefighters passed away.

Oscar Cruz lost his uncle in the attack. Cruz said “He would go to the south tower to help clean inside and out of the building; till this day we don’t know exactly what floor he was on. Once we saw what was happening on television, the first thing his family did was try to call him, but no answer.” 

He requested to keep the name of his relative undisclosed for respect to his aunt and their kids’ decision.

“It had been hours, and she still didn’t know anything. It wasn’t till the second day she received the news that unfortunately, he didn’t survive.” – Cruz

When his aunt could finally see her husband’s body she couldn’t believe it was him. She never imagined that an ordinary day would turn into the day her other half wouldn’t make it back home. 

They knew that the Cruz family would never be the same. He says it changed his family for the better because he considers everyone to be closer and more grateful for the small things. 

He said, “Living in America; to have a stable life, everyone has to work every day, even if that means on holidays, birthdays, family events, or just every day. Now they never miss an important date; they always put family first no matter what.” 

 I asked Cruz what they do every 9/11 to keep their uncle’s memory alive, and he said, “ We decided to do something that we think he would have wanted, we all gather at his house, make his favorite food and play his favorite songs. At the end of the night, we all sit by his picture and say one thing that we want him to know that is currently happening in our lives.”

His aunt and cousins visit the Sept. 11 Memorial to speak and tell him how much they wish he were there with them.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   


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Keeping Their Memories Alive