Exclusive: Bereaved Families Commemorate Loved Ones Lost on 9/11
In memory of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, The Algemeiner spoke with two parents who had their lives forever changed, 11 years ago today.
Roman Gertsberg lost his only daughter Marina in the September 11th attacks.
“As I’ve done for the last 11 years, I went to ground zero in the morning before the first toll bell rings, which I believe was the time I lost my daughter,” Gertsberg said. “We stay until they pronounce her name and wait for last toll bell.”
After the tow bell rings, Gertsberg and his family slowly make their way to the cemetery.
“All day we are with friends, family members, supporters, and public officials. It is a very hectic and tough day for all of us, but it is the least that we can do to make sure those lives can be remembered.”
Asked about the work his family has initiated in honor and memory of Marina, Mr. Gertsberg spoke of two different projects.
“We established two educational scholarships – one at Baruch College, where she had just started to get her Master’s degree, and one in Binghamton where she received her Bachelor’s.”
In a moving tribute to his daughter, a friend and family member chose to use the name Marina when they had children.
“My best friend had twins and one of the daughters carried my daughter’s name, and my nephew also has a child with her name.”
Faina Zaltsman, is a holocaust survivor who lost her only son, Arkady.
“All the days are very hard for us. For so many years our hearts are broken and we miss our son very much,” Zalstman said. “We came to America with hope for a bright future, and my son became a famous architect. He loved architecture from a very young age and worked at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.”
Zaltsman’s son was on the 105th floor of the South Tower when the plane struck.
“He was celebrating the completion of his last design for the renovation of Toronto’s airport. My granddaughter was the last to see him, he took her to school, and she was 15 years old.”
At the ceremony on Tuesday near Ground Zero, Zaltsman’s widow was selected to attend.
“This year, my daughter in law was invited to read his name at ground zero. Every year she applied but it is 3000 people, and finally she received a call and this year she was invited. My granddaughter is 27 and she went together with her mother to Ground Zero.”