By Pat Ciarrocchi
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A very emotional day as survivors, the families of those who lost their lives and dignitaries toured the National September 11 Memorial Museum.
The families of those lost, many from our area, endured the greatest pain.
CBS 3’s Pat Ciarrocchi met with the mother of one young woman from Northeast Philadelphia who was killed when the second plane crashed into the World Trade Center.
“Alisha was all about life,” Audrey Levin said.
She was so close to her daughter Alisha.
“She was perfect in my eyes. She is really missed a lot,” she said.
Thirty-three-years-old, bright and beautiful. A Northeast Philly girl, who adopted New York.
On 9/11, she was in the south tower where she worked. Her floor took a direct hit.
“People have said to me, 10 years and you’ll start coming. It feels like it was yesterday,” her mother said.
On Sunday, it will feel closer yet.
The Levins will come to experience the Museum and its story of nation attacked, and the sacrifice that families were forced to suffer.
“My whole family is going, but I don’t know if I’ll keep going back. It’s just very hard. They never found anything of her,” her mother said.
A mother’s wound feels more open. She thought Alisha was safe. She had called home and left a message after the north tower was hit.
“She was safe, everything is fine. It was not me. I’ll talk to you later and I’ll call you back,” she said.
Remembering can be hard and healing.
Bucks County’s Garden of Reflection grew from a desire to honor 18 men and women from Lower Makefield, a suburban haven from where so many commuted to work in New York.
Police Chief Ken Colluzzi has seen the garden become a community crossroad.
“Young kids are amazed when they come to the Garden. They see all the symbolism there.” He adds, “It reached across all of the tragedies and all of the issues and all the pain that people go through. It is a place of reflection.”
Years ago, Audrey was asked to contribute something of Alisha’s for a museum that might be built some day. She doesn’t remember what she offered.
But one thing is precious, just for her.
“I did get one thing from her. It was a burnt library card. The edge is burnt off, no pocketbook, where that came from I don’t know,” she said.
Though Audrey knows seeing the Museum on Sunday will re-kindle those feelings of loss, she also knows Alisha was about life and that’s why she’ll go, to remember that life should always flourish, not pain.
For more information on the National September 11 Memorial Museum, visit: http://www.911memorial.org/.