On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, a generation of children whose grandparents died in the terror attacks paid heartbreaking tributes to them – with many never having had the chance to meet them.
Some of the victims’ youngest decendents – including grandchildren, nieces and nephews – offered heartfelt words at the memorial site in Lower Manhattan on Saturday morning as family members read the names of the 2,977 victims.
‘For my grandfather, Michael San Phillip who I was never able to meet, but I’m pretty sure we would have had a lot of fun together,’ Charlotte Spero said to the crowd gathered at the 9/11 Memorial Plaza of her grandfather, an investment banker who worked in the South Tower at the time of the attacks.
Charlotte’s story echoed that of every other child who took the stage who lost family members in the attacks, long before many of them were even born.
‘And my uncle, firefighter Christopher Michael Mazzoto. I know you’re with us everyday watching over us, and even though I never met you I still miss you a lot,’ another little girl said of her late uncle.
‘Mom always tells me the crazy, fun things you did, and I’m sure if you were here I would probably be doing them with you,’
‘Thank you for being the best guardian angel. My mom says I have your lovable charm and fearlessness, and I am honored to have your name as my middle name.’
‘For my grandfather, Michael San Phillip,’ Charlotte Spero (right) said to the crowd of her grandfather, an investment banker who worked in the South Tower
Spero’s grandfather,Michael V. San Phillip (pictured) worked as an investment banker in the South Tower
‘Thank you for being the best guardian angel. My mom says I have your lovable charm and fearlessness, and I am honored to have your name as my middle name,’ another young boy said
Young Jake DiVirgilio’s words rang true for most of the children who took the stage on Saturday’s anniversary event, expressing love for his grandfather, bond broker David Francis Ferrugio, even though the two never met.
‘We all miss you,’ the young boy said. ‘And even though I didn’t get to meet you, I still love you.’
Another said: ‘To my uncle, Robert G. Mclevan, although I wasn’t lucky enough to have met you, your spirit lives on in myself, my brother and sisters, and all those who loved you.’
‘I’m honored to carry your name, and I am living proof that life goes on.’
Family members of those who lost their lives during the 9/11 attacks 20 years ago remembered their fallen uncles, aunts, grandparents and parents during Saturday’s event
Mina Clemente, 9, who’s grandfather Cesar Amoranto Alviar also died in the 9/11 attacks, turned an otherwise somber scene into a moment of levity when she asked her late grandfather to convince her mother to get her a puppy.
‘Thank you for watching over us,’ the little girl said. ‘And please convince Mommy to get us a husky someday.’
Meanwhile, Mina’s mother Gemma Alviar told the New York Post that her daughter’s request caught her off guard, but that she’ll have to make good on it after her daughter put her on the spot.
‘She totally surprised me with the dog thing,’ told The Post. ‘OK, no pressure there, saying that on national television — I guess we have to deliver.’
‘I’m honored to carry your name, and I am living proof that life goes on’ said the nephew of Robert G. Mclevan, who died in the 9/11 attacks
‘And my uncle, firefighter Christopher Mazzoto. I know you’re with us everyday watching over us, and even though I never met you I still miss you a lot,’ a little girl said of her late uncle
Two other boys dedicated a moment to their aunts and uncle, who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks.
‘To my uncle, who’s tie I am wearing today, proudly,’ the young boy told the crowd, while wearing a pin featuring his late aunt’s face.
‘And to my aunt, Maria Theresa Concepcion-Santillion, and Judy Santillion-Fernandez.’
‘From the pictures and stories I’ve heard and seen, I know how beautiful you were. After 20 years, you are now reunited with Lula and Lolo, who passed away last year. Please be our guardian angel. We will never forget,and we will always remember you.’
‘God bless America,’ he added.