We all witnessed the horror of the 9/11 attacks, and as a country we mourned.
Even as we approach the 10th anniversary, that pain is being felt at a much deeper level for those who lost loved ones.
I was at ground zero in the days that followed 9/11 and saw a lot of the anguish first hand. For a Barrington couple, the intensity of their pain may have subsided, but the sense of loss remains as real today as it was a decade ago.
Marianne and Lionel Lenz lost their only daughter Mary Lenz Weiman on 9/11.
The 43-year-old Arlington Heights native was a marketing executive with AON Corporation. She was at a meeting on the 105th floor of the World Trade Center's south tower when the first plane slammed into the north tower.
“I think about it when I get up in the morning when I go to bed a night, and like Marianne said ,” Mary’s father Lionel Lenz said, “everything revolves around 9/11, it's either post 9/11 or pre 9/11.”
Immediately after the attacks, the Lenzs drove to New York, hoping against hope. But in their hearts they knew Mary was dead.
For her brother the feelings of loss a decade later have changed.
“9/11 for me is more of an event, more of an outsider,” Mary’s brother Tom Lenz said. “I really just think of her and the good times we've had, I really just think of her in that vein, so the painful part for me is when I maybe think of that.”
Lionel and Marianne have been to ground zero only once since seeing the sight from an overlook on a nearby building.
They will not be going there to mark the 10th anniversary. Marianne Lenz said she did not think she could go.
The Lenzs don't carry any bitterness over what happened. The way they see it, their daughter was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
They describe her as someone who was full of life, who loved her job and her family.
“It was interesting because we started to look at pictures again, and it was, we sort of enjoyed that because, it's bittersweet because they bring back good memories.”
They are memories they cherish, memories that help the pain - which doesn't seem to fade.
“I don't think it is possible to have closure with the death of a child,” Lionel said.
“Anyone that loses a child no matter how old, they still, it's the worst feeling you can have,” Marianne said.
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