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Local Families Mourn 9/11 Tragedies

LUDLOW & WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WGGB) — Minutes after terrorists flew hijacked airliners into New York’s World Trade Center, West Springfield’s Melissa Harrington-Hughes called the man she could always turn to-her dad. Melissa was 31 and working on the 101st floor of the North Tower.

“She called me about eight minutes after the first plane crashed into the building,” Bob Harrington said.

Harrington says his family was blessed to have the perfect daughter.

“She called her mother everyday of the week to talk and say hello to her mother-just a wonderful young lady,” Bob Harrington said.

Ten years after Melissa’s final call, Bob is humbled by the support his family gets every year. Hundreds in West Springfield gathered Sunday around the town’s eternal flame that burns forever in Melissa’s memory.

“It warms me up inside to think they came for this-it’s just a nice feeling-makes you forget why your here,” Bob Harrington said.

Ludlow’s Nick Humber was 60 years old and aboard American Airlines Flight 11.  Nick’s sister, Dorothy McKeon says her brother’s memory has never faded.

“There was a woman who just said Nick was her first date. She smiled and said he was gentlemanly- a kind human being,” McKeon said. 

A piece of steel salvaged from the Trade Center’s North Tower was unveiled Sunday to serve as a memorial for Nick and all 9/11 victims. It sits outside the Ludlow Fire Department.

“This monument here is kind of our closure-for us-there is a marked place we can come and know he’s there and everywhere,” McKeon said.

Two western Mass families-10 years later- holding onto the memories of their loved ones’ memories. 

“I was one of the lucky ones that were able to talk to my loved one, able to say goodbye, and I can always take that with me to my grave,” Bob Harrington said.


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