Two people killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks were identified this week by authorities, providing some closure for the victims’ families who had waited nearly two decades for answers.
Dorothy Morgan, of Hempstead, New York, and a man whose name was withheld at the request of his family, marked the 1,646 and 1,647 person whose remains were identified through “ongoing DNA analysis,” according to a statement Tuesday from New York City’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
As the world reflects on the somber 20-year anniversary on Saturday of the terror attacks that claimed the lives of 2,753 people, New York City officials say personnel in the medical examiner’s office never stopped working to identify victims since the morning two hijacked airplanes flew into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.
“Twenty years ago, we made a promise to the families of World Trade Center victims to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to identify their loved ones, and with these two new identifications, we continue to fulfill that sacred obligation,” said Dr. Barbara A. Sampson, Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York, in the statement.
“No matter how much time passes since September 11, 2001, we will never forget, and we pledge to use all the tools at our disposal to make sure all those who were lost can be reunited with their families.”
Authorities have said 2,977 people died in total during the terrorist attacks that day. The fatalities also include deaths from the commercial airplane that crashed into the Pentagon and those killed aboard United Flight 93, the plane that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, when passengers fought back against the highjackers.
The identifications of Morgan and the man whose name was not made public are the first new identifications of World Trade Center victims since October 2019, officials said. About 40 percent, or 1,106 victims who died during the attack, remain unidentified, authorities said.
Morgan’s remains were recovered in 2001, while the unidentified man’s remains were recovered in 2001, 2002 and 2006, officials said.
NBC New York reported Morgan was 47 when she died. Morgan’s daughter, Nykiah Morgan, told the news outlet that Sept. 11 is always a sad and difficult day for her. She said she chooses to tune the world out as each anniversary passes.
“I close doors. Turn off phones. Turn off TV, everything,” she said.
Morgan told NBC New York she accepted her mother was killed during the terror attacks, but part of her wondered. “Maybe she had amnesia. Maybe she’s out living a whole different life and she’s happy,” she said.
Finding out her mother was identified was painful.
“It’s like you’re living it all over again.”