CLEARWATER, Fla. — The attacks on September 11 resonate in some way with every single American. Whether you lost a loved one, watched news coverage in terror, or were born years later, you've been taught to never forget that day.
For Elyse Van Breemen, never forgetting comes naturally every single day. That's because her sister, Myra Aronson, was on the first plane that crashed into the World Trade Center.
“If my sister knew what they were going to do, she would have fought. I've thought that. Did she know when they were on the plane what they were going to do? I mean they were obviously routed somewhere else but they didn't know they were going to crash,” Van Breemen said.
Aronson was 50-years-old when she and 91 others were killed onboard American Airlines Flight 11.
Over the years, Van Breemen has turned to art and nature to cope with the sadness of that day. After her sister was killed, Van Breemen took some of the coleus plants from her home and brought them back with her to Clearwater. They are still sprinkled throughout her garden.
She also plays her cello and wrote a poem with a message to others not to mourn on 9/11 but rather do some good to make the world a better place.
In a memorial booklet, Van Breeman shared some of her memories from that day.
...a half hour later, the phone rang again. “I’m truly sorry,” Jonathan said, “It’s been confirmed. Your sister Myra, was on the first plane that flew into the World Trade Center.”
Days passed. I was in a daze. Of course I asked, “How’s Mom? How is she taking it? How’s Deborah? How is everybody?” Myra had been the baby sister I had wished for on my eighth birthday. I had bathed her, taken her for walks, helped her and loved her. Then I grew up and moved away. We lived in different towns and I rarely saw her.
What could I do? When people leave, you give them a going-away present. What could I give her now, after this?
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