Donna Marie Velazquez, the daughter of Hauppauge resident and 9/11 casualty Frank Moccia, said the wound left by his death is still fresh after 10 years.
Velazquez, of Port Jefferson Station, said her father loved his job as a graphic designer at Washington Group International in the south tower. Mocccia’s body was never recovered.
"Something like that either brings people closer together or further apart. I thank God every day because I have my dad's only sister and brother-in-law with me,” Velazquez said.
Velazquez said grieving with her aunt and Moccia’s sister, Marianne Carfagno bonded them forever. The two were close as Velazquez grew up but lost touch for a several years until her father’s death.
"We went to Ground Zero the first year because that was our goodbye. Every year, I don't want to relive his death, I want to celebrate his life,” Velazquez said.
She said every year since on Sept. 11 she takes her children to the beach, away from televisions, radios and newspapers.
“[My dad] always told me to, ‘Sit back and enjoy life. It goes by too fast.'”