On 9/11/09, I Remember Adele Sessa

On September 11, 2001 our country lost 2,996 people as a result of the coordinated terrorist attacks in New York, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania. Their names will be read on this day every year as part of a long list of those who lost their lives on that sad and desperately horrible day.

As I wept from shock and fear in those terrible moments, weeks and months afterward, I swore that I would never, ever forget.

These were 2,996 people with families and homes and friends and other people who cared about and counted on them. Sometimes it's just too big for me to comprehend the enormity of the tragedy and of the lives specifically impacted.

Today I'd like to put a name and a face to one of those victims and pay tribute to her. (I did not know her personally, but I am proud to participate in Project 2,996.)

Her name was Adele Sessa.

Look at that dazzling smile. She looks like someone that I could have been friends with.


Her sister remembers her like this:

"Adele, my sister, was truly a special person. Thank you to all of youwho continue to remember her. We miss her terribly and will always have a hole in our hearts for the loss. She was the light of our lives. Our children miss her very much. We will always love her and miss her.

I love you Adele. xoxox Elena"

Elena Sessa Sandberg, Sarasota, Florida 


From a childhood friend:

Dear Adele,

Here I am again around this time of year writing to you. I want you to know that I think of you each and every day (whether I pass the WTC site or not) and your family!! The world lost a great person with a warm heart and huge smile!! Your laugh was infectious. I pray that your mom has strength to carry on and you will never be forgotten!! My thoughts are with you and I am happy to have at least our childhood memories.

With love, your friend, LISA RUSSO

Lisa Russo, Staten Island, New York


Here's what I have learned out about her:

She worked as an international equities trader for the New York City branch of Cantor Fitzgerald, who's offices were located on the 101st-105th floors of One World Trade Center - two to four floors above the impact zone of hijacked American Airlines Flight 11.

According to her mother, since her father's death in 1988, Adele worked hard to help her family. She traveled extensively and rented a summer house in the Hamptons. But she also gave her younger brother her car and paid the insurance on it while he was in school.

She helped her sisters in the family's flower shop in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, and spent Sunday nights with her nieces at home on Staten Island.

She worked hard and gave a lot. And she postponed having a family of her own.

A few months before the tragedy, she said to her mother, "Ma, I want to get married and have babies. I'm ready now."

She didn't get her chance. 

She was a good daughter, a loving sister, a faithful friend.

Adele Sessa died on September 11, 2001. She was 36 years old.

We must never, ever forget.

More tributes to the victims of 9/11 here.

(Cross-posted on Babalú blog.)