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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.
M****, Thank you for sharing the link to Nancy Morgenstern's website. I got through today OK... 9/11 finally becoming just another day... until you connected me to it again through Nancy's story. I have been a ball of tears for the past 30 minutes. And it reminds me that these days can never become ordinary no matter how far in the distance they are. I moved to NY a year after 9/11 and so while I experienced the national trauma of 9/11 (I was at UMD and we had classmates whose parents were killed in the Pentagon) I did not go through the intensely personal experience of being in a city under siege or losing a friend in the attacks. I am sorry for your loss. I am sorry for all of ours - because we all lost something that day - and in reading Nancy's website I have come upon some personal resolutions that I have been pushing away for too long. In reading her friend's testimonials (including yours) I am reminded of the type of person I want to be... and by your simple press of the "share" button you have shaken my world... and I am deeply grateful. Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom.
You don't know me, but I used to work with your son-in-law, Avi. Many years ago, when I was going through a rough spell (thyroid cancer and some other minor disasters) Avi gave me a copy of the book about Nancy. I read it, I was inspired... and then I filed it away on my bookshelf.
Last night, I sat down in my living room in the same place I always sit, ready to read a light novel. From across the room, Nancy's book caught my eye. It never does that - in the same way that none of my books do that. They are just there, as they always are, and unless I am looking for a specific book, I don't see it when aimlessly looking around my living room. Since it was September 11, I thought-you know Gila, give a little כבוד, take a pass on the drivel for one night and read a bit of the memorial book. So I did.
I recently set some challenges for myself for the new year. They are going to involve a fair amount of discipline and hard work to achieve. I found the descriptions about how Nancy approached her goals and her life and how she was able to balance the various aspects of her life to be enormously inspiring. I got up from my reading energized. (And at the risk of coming across as cloying and melodramatic, it did strike me as meaningful that the right book popped out at me from across the room, on precisely the right day and at the right time).
I know that there is no real consolation for the loss of your daughter, but I thought I would pass on that, even years later, she is still having an influence. Thanks for sharing your memories of her with the rest of us.
Regards and שנה טובה,
My best to you and your family,
My thoughts are with you on this 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. Nancy had such spirit and enthusiasm, and as everyone who knew her remembers, she always had a big beautiful smile. A smile that reached her eyes. Nancy and I were closest in high school and college, and looking back, she was so independent and had such confidence for her age. She was always up for the next big adventure. I recently found some video footage of her from 1991 - I will make a copy and mail to you.
You should be proud of raising such a special daughter and all that you have done over the last 10 years to honor her life.
In memory of Nancy M. I can't imagine what you went through that morning... I think of you sometimes when I'm not having a great day and think of the days I've had that you never did and I get over it... especially on the days that start off a beautiful as can be...full of promise.
We weren't close friends but just by being in my life you've given me an appreciation for every day and that is a gift I will always remember. And I will never forget you. Love, Melanie
[May you be comforted by her memory and may her neshama have aliya as we all remember her today and every day with love.]
At this the 10 year anniversary, I just wanted to share how much you are missed. Thinking about you a lot. I trust you are in a great place, looking upon us and showering us with love.
Martha Morgenstern Soltesz