NYC Officials Identify Two More 9/11 Victims Ahead of 22nd Anniversary

08:22 10.09.2023

In a remarkable development ahead of the 22nd anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the remains of two more victims have been positively identified, marking a significant step in New York City's ongoing commitment to return the bodies of all victims to their families. The identities of the man and woman, who were found years ago but their names are being withheld at the request of their families, were established through advanced DNA analysis, officials announced on Friday.

These latest identifications are the first since September 2021, with the last identification being made in 2019. To date, a total of 1,649 victims have been identified out of the 2,753 people who tragically lost their lives when two hijacked civilian aircraft were flown into the World Trade Center twin towers. Mayor Eric Adams expressed hope that these new identifications would bring some measure of comfort to the families, while also emphasizing the city's unwavering commitment to reuniting all victims with their loved ones.

However, the progress in identifying the remaining victims has been painstakingly slow, with 1,104 individuals still unidentified. The unidentified remains are currently being stored at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center site, serving as a somber reminder of the violence and devastation that unfolded that fateful day. The collapse of the towers was so extreme that hundreds of the missing individuals left no identifiable trace behind.

The breakthrough in identifying the two victims came through the use of "next-generation sequencing technology," which is more sensitive and rapid than conventional DNA techniques, according to a statement. The Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) employed this cutting-edge technology to analyze the remains of the man and woman, which had been discovered years ago. This significant development was particularly timely as it occurred just days before the latest commemoration of the 2001 disaster.

The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks involved 19 jihadists, mostly Saudi nationals, who hijacked four planes, resulting in a catastrophe that changed the course of history. The identification of these two victims brings the total number of positively identified individuals to 1,649, marking a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to bring closure to the families affected by this tragedy.

Mayor Eric Adams expressed his gratitude to the OCME and highlighted the dedication of the Medical Examiner's Office in fulfilling their solemn pledge to return the remains of World Trade Center victims to their loved ones. Dr. Jason Graham, the Chief Medical Examiner, emphasized the OCME's unwavering commitment in using the latest advances in science to fulfill this promise, acknowledging that the forensic investigation surrounding the September 11 attacks is the largest and most complex in the history of the United States.

The OCME's recent adoption of state-of-the-art, highly sensitive sequencing technology, similar to that utilized by the US military for identifying the remains of missing American servicemembers, has yielded positive results. This represents a significant shift after years of negative DNA results and has provided a glimmer of hope for families who have been waiting for answers for over two decades.

Notably, similar efforts are underway to identify body fragments from the tragic Maui wildfires that occurred last month, demonstrating the widespread impact of advanced forensic techniques in solving complex cases. The ME's office confirmed the identity of the man through DNA testing of remains recovered in 2001, while the identification of the woman was confirmed through DNA testing of remains recovered in 2001, 2006, and 2013.

As the city of New York prepares to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the positive identifications of these two victims serve as a poignant reminder of the ongoing quest for closure and justice. However, with 40% of those who perished still unidentified, the journey to reunite all victims with their families remains a challenging and emotional endeavor. The determination of the OCME and the unwavering commitment of the city of New York to honor the memory of those lost on that fateful day continue to drive these efforts forward.

/ Sunday, September 10, 2023, 8:22 AM /

themes:  Military  New York City  New York (state)

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