Judi Reiss often makes visits to the Garden of Reflection 9/11 Memorial in Bucks County. One name stands out to her out of the 2,973 names there.
“It’s hard to see his name,” she said. “He was a good boy, a truly good boy.”
Reiss is talking about her son, Joshua.
He worked for financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald on the 102nd floor of One World Trade Center.
On September 11, 2001, Reiss was at home when a friend of Josh called her.
“She said a plane hit the building,” said Reiss. “She said to turn on the television.”
Reiss never got a call from her 23 year-old son that day.
“It’s almost like someone is stabbing you constantly in the stomach,” said Reiss. “I can’t explain it, it’s physically painful. I was his mother, I raised him, I cared for him.”
20 years after his death, she still remembers the happiness Josh brought to others.
“He had a crude joy for life. He never met anyone he couldn’t make his friend,” she said. “I don’t think he could really understand the kind of hatred that caused this…”
Reiss thinks we need to learn to live in peace with our neighbors. She hopes we never forget the lives lost and the families affected on that tragic day.
“Josh would want me to be better. He wouldn’t want me to cry. He wouldn’t want me to be angry,” she said. “He would want me to get even and the best way is to live a good life.”