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Hi! About 20 years have passed since I briefly met your daughter, I still remember her quite vividly. I was reminded of the tragedy while looking at Linkedin this week and someone posted a tribute to people who perished from Cantor Fitzgerald.
I lived on the Upper West Side from 1996 to to 1999 and I remember meeting Nancy. There are two strong memories. One I was cycling in Central Park on the bike path and she zipped right by me. I didn't have a race bike and I was just riding for fun. It was evident that she was a strong cyclist. I have a good memory for faces and I think I may have remembered her from a shabbos at Jewish Center. This is probably true to this day that singles gather in the lobby and talk after the t'fillah. I have lived in New Jersey for many years so I don't attend services in Manhattan very often.
Anyhow, the next time I saw her after she flew by on her bicycle I approached her after davening at Jewish Center and talked to her a bit. Just like someone wrote how Nancy was welcoming to her at a shabbos meal when she didn't know anyone, Nancy took the time out to talk to me and was very friendly. This sounds like a minor thing, but the groups talking in the lobby and outside the shul can be quite cliquey and it can be hard for a newcomer to go up and talk to people. Nancy made an impression.
I left New York for a few years and was gone when 9/11 happened. I heard somehow about Nancy's tragic death; I don't remember where I read it, but I was so impressed about reading her devotion to Shabbos when she competed in cycling races outside of NYC. I used to big into cycling when I was in high school and I still watch events like the Tour de France on TV, so I found that to be amazing how she could be compete and be true to Judaism.
Anyhow I moved back to NYC in early 2002 and not too long after coming back I attended an Orthodox wedding in Brooklyn and a couple of people behind me were talking about Nancy and said that you were not able to bury her at that point. I didn't try to eavesdrop; they were talking loudly and this was quite a coincidence that they did not realize that someone who knew Nancy may hear them. That was the last time I heard about her, but I did a bit of research yesterday and read that you were able to bury her and I read about your beautiful tributes to her. I grew up in St. Louis and a few of my friends moved to Bet Shemesh in the past 20 years or so. One friend married someone that probably knew Nancy from the Jewish Center.
I plan to read more of the letters on the memorial site. I just met her a couple of times and briefly talked to her. I think her relatives and close friends were very fortunate to have her part of their lives. The death of each and every person who perished on 9/11 was a tragedy and others may have already said this, but each life that was taken was either father, mother, brother, sister, friend or co-worker and had a profound effect on a large circle of people when they died, even people like me that only had a quick chat with them.
Dear Mr. And Mrs. Morgenstern,
I just came across the book about your amazing daughter Nancy AH. Like most people I'm sure I still clearly remember where I was standing and what I was doing when I got that fateful phone call from a friend telling me that a plane crashed into the Twin Towers. I just can't believe I hadn't known of Nancy till now. Though I am a Chassidish I count amongs my friends woman from across the board and reading about Nancy make me feel truly disappointed that I never had the Z'chus to meet her. I find myself thinking of her often.
I will be giving the book to a Jewish inmate that I visit. This woman who unfortunately is serving a long sentence discovered Hashem and Torah during her incarceration. Amazingly she is now keeping Shabbos and Kashrus. She is though very afraid of the "Orthodox" label. I am sure reading about Nancys life will give her much Chizuk and help her move on.
Just wanted you to know that Nancy never stopped making ripples. May Hashem be with you and may you find true Nechama.
Mrs Chana Rivka Greenfeld
A few months ago I traveled to NY with a group of women from our community in Mequon Wisconsin. The purpose of our trip was to visit the resting place - the Ohel of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and to visit the Jewish sites in Brooklyn.
On Monday, we designated time to visit the 911 Memorial.
Monday was the 23rd day of Elul, the Yahrtzeit of the Jewish victims of 9-11.
As you can imagine the women were very moved and touched by what they experienced there. The space, atmosphere and the waterfalls engraved with the names of thousands of brave men and women is remarkable.
We went to the first memorial, recited Tehillim and reflected and discussed our feelings standing at this location and then we walked over to the 2nd memorial.
As we were standing and reflecting on what happened there and the magnitude of the loss we were approached by someone who said to us, that he was there with his parents and family members and they had just said Kaddish for his dear sister, Nancy.
As you can imagine this took our visit to the next level, it was humbling to meet your family and to hear a first hand account about Nancy. Yaakov then shared with us about Nancy and her passions in life. A few women spent some time visiting with you and were so impressed by your dedication, determination and pride and all that you shared about her.
I personally have been to the 911 Memorial previously, but the powerful meeting with your family touched me in a very profound way, and I know that on my next visit, Nancy will be the first person that I will visit.
Yaakov then gave us a beautiful and very meaningful book about Nancy, it gave us a glimpse into her incredible, adventurous and committed life. It was special to read the reflections from her family and friends. Thank you for sharing this with us.
with much respect,
May Nancy's neshama have an aliyah and may the ripple effect of goodness done in this world because of her life be an endless treasure of pride for your family.