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YEAR AFTER year, the searing memories resurface as Sept. 11 nears. It’s a day that lives in infamy, that day of Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorist attacks on the United States killed almost 3,000 people.

They died in New York, when two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center, burning and bringing down the twin towers. They died when another hijacked plane crashed into a Pennsylvania field, and when yet another plane struck the Pentagon in Arlington, Va.

At the World Trade Center site in New York’s Lower Manhattan, a young girl commemorates her aunt, Kathleen Moran, who died in the attack, by making a rubbing of her name. Names of all the World Trade Center victims are engraved in bronze plaques that surround two reflecting pools at the 9/11 Memorial; the pools cover what was the original footprint of the towers.

Ava Kathleen Schmoelzer, of Stamford, Conn., made the rubbing of her aunt’s name last Sept. 11 when she was 7 years old. Ava wasn’t alive when her aunt died. But her aunt’s spirit lives on in her heart.

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Kristin R. Jackson is The Seattle Times NWTraveler editor. Contact her at

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