NEW YORK — New York’s medical forensics department was able to formally identify two more 9/11 victims. One of them is called Dorothy Morgan, who lived in Hempstead, Nassau County. The second victim, a man, was not named at the family’s request.
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After the update, the number of people identified after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 2001 reaches 1,647. The work is the result of continuous DNA analysis of the remains recovered at the site of the tragedy.
“Twenty years ago, we made a promise to the families of the victims of the World Trade Center to do whatever it took for as long as it took to identify their loved ones. (…) No matter how much time passes, we will never forget 9/11 and we are committed to using all the tools at our disposal to ensure that all those who have been lost can be reunited with their families,” said Barbara A. Sampson, head of the medical forensics department, in a statement.
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There has been no update on the identification of victims of the attack since October 2019. Currently, 1,106 people — approximately 40% of those who died in the attack — have not yet been formally recognized.
‘Reopen old wounds’
According to the family, Dorothy Morgan worked as an insurance broker in the collapsed complex. Without the remains, it was never possible to make a proper burial. Her daughter, Nykiah Morgan, said she was surprised to be identified two decades after the tragedy.
“I didn’t know they were still trying to do it after all these years,” the personal assistant revealed in an interview with the New York Times.
After the attack, Nykiah said she hoped her mother would be alive. She traveled to Manhattan day after day looking for her, to no avail. In October 2001, Dorothy was honored at the church her family attended.
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After so many years, the daughter is not sure if she wants to remove the remains of her mother and fears that the burial of a coffin with a small fragment of bone could further affect the mourning period.
“All of a sudden you have to decide what to do with a loved one who died 20 years ago. It’s almost like reopening old wounds. Over time, you feel like you’re getting better, but something like this happens 20 years later and you have to deal with it all over again,” he lamented.
According to the newspaper, the investigation related to 9/11 is the largest missing persons action ever carried out in the United States. For 20 years, teams of experts have repeatedly tested 22,000 remains found in the wreckage.