Families of 9/11 Victims Attend WTC Memorial

Family members were at the World Trade Center site Sunday to witness the unveiling of the new memorial.
By Paul Peluso - Firehouse.com News

Posted: Mon, 09/12/2011 - 10:47am
Updated: Mon, 09/12/2011 - 11:48a

Fire Department City of New York
Families of the victims got their first look at the new 9/11 Memorial on Sept. 11, 2011..

Family members of those killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks where at the World Trade Center site on Sunday morning to witness the unveiling of the memorial on the tenth anniversary.

Laura Froehlich's father Philip T. Hayes, a fire safety director at the World Trade Center, was killed while trying to evacuate the South Tower when it collapsed.

Hayes retired as a firefighter with Engine 217 in Brooklyn in 1979 and his name appears next to those firefighters killed from the same engine company.

"There were so many more people there this year than previous years," she said. "Even though I saw it on TV, when you see it in person, it really is beautiful.

"It gives you a sense of peace. It actually is enormous. You knew that it would be the size of the tower, but it really is large and peaceful."

Froehlich said she was encouraged by the progress made over the past 10 years to rebuild the site and hopes the memorial will serve as a lasting reminder.

"I look forward to seeing the museum and buildings and everything else build up," she said. "I hope that when anyone is New York they'll take the time to go there and reflect. I'm very proud that they did that memorial and that we have that place to go to remember everyone."

Other family members of victims were equally impressed.

"I touched it . . . I didn't know what to do," Dennis Baxter, who found the name of his brother Jasper who was killed in the attacks, told the New York Post. "It was really moving."

More than a dozen family members wore shirts bearing the name and picture of Manika Narula whose remains still have not been found.

"So much progress was made in the last year," Her friend Shailja Gulati told the Post, pointing to the new 1 WTC.

The memorial opened to the public on Monday with around 7,000 tickets issued with some 400,000 reserved tickets for the coming months,

The names on the plaques at the memorial include the 2,977 people killed on 9/11 and the six who died in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

"For the vast majority of the world, the images that they remember from this site are very difficult," Memorial President Joe Daniels told the Associated Press. "It's the recovery period, it's seeing those images of the towers falling. So when they come on now and see this place that's been transformed into a place of beauty, it's exciting."