Remembering the Father I Never Met: A 9/11 Memorial
Lauren McIntyre, 9
Lauren wears a picture of her father, Donald McIntyre, on a pendant around her neck every day. While picking up an extra shift to make money before Lauren's birth, 38-year-old McIntyre died on duty as a Port Authority Police officer in Tower 2. Lauren understands the weight of her father's actions, her mom Jeannine tells PEOPLE: "Lauren will always say, 'My daddy died a hero.'"
Alexa Smagala, 9
Alexa is saddened by the fact that she has no pictures with her father, firefighter Stanley Smagala Jr., who died on first response to Tower 2. She's happy they share the same blond hair and blue eyes, but she struggles to revisit 9/11. "When I see the people running from the building that day, I know my dad was telling them to get out," Alexa tells PEOPLE. "Now I think he makes the sun shine."
Rodney Wotton, 9
On Rodney's bed there is a stuffed dog that his father, 36-year-old IT manager Rodney Wotton, picked out for him before he was born. He loves the similarities he and his dad share (including a love of spaghetti), but feels the attack on Tower 2 that left him fatherless is unfair. "I think of my dad when I'm really mad," Rodney tells PEOPLE. "Probably because he would take my side."
Allison Lee, 9
For show-and-tell last year, Allison brought in a snow globe of New York City and told her classmates about her father, 34-year old stagehand Dan Lee. "I told them my dad's plane crashed into the Twin Towers," Allison told PEOPLE. "I was nervous but it made me feel better." Allison now lives in Henderson, Nev., and always sends a card to her dad on his birthday.
Parker Fyfe-Kiernan, 9
After his mom Haven remarried, Parker was given the option of choosing his last name. Usually shy, he spoke up before his older brother did, according to Parker's stepdad, Dan Kiernan. "He said, 'I wanna be Parker Fyfe-Kiernan.'" Parker finds it tough to understand the loss of his father, Karleton Fyfe (a 41-year-old passenger on Flight 11), but has embraced his new blended family.
Jamie Gartenberg Pila, 9
Jamie's mother, Jill, believes her younger daughter's friendly and open personality reflects that of her father, commercial real estate broker James Gartenberg. His death in Tower 1 at the age of 35 is still difficult for Jamie to process, but she has realized that her loss goes beyond her and her 12-year-old sister Nicole. "She knows she's a part of history, and she's OK with that," Jill told PEOPLE.
Gabriel "Gabi" Jacobs Dick, 9
Every year, Gabi sends balloons up in the sky filled with notes to his dad, sales executive Ariel Jacobs (who didn't survive the collapse of Tower 1), telling him what happened during the year. "Ten years since my first dad died on Sept. 11, I don't exactly know how to deal with it because I never really knew him," he tells PEOPLE.
Robyn Higley, 9
Robyn wears a special necklace with a picture of her father, insurance executive Robert Higley, who passed away at 29 from the attack on Tower 2. She and sister Amanda, 14, live with mom Vycki and stepdad Rick. "I would have loved to have known my daddy, Rob, but I've always felt that I have a dad," Robyn tells PEOPLE. "It's just more family for me to love."
Ronald Milam Jr., 9
Ronald Jr.'s mother, Jacqueline, sees in her son's brown eyes and bright smile the face of her late husband, 33-year-old Pentagon casualty Major Ronald Milam. She tells PEOPLE, "Ronald Jr. is a happy kid, though when we talk about his dad, you can tell that he wishes he would have known him."
Grace Danahy, 9
Grace used to keep her ultrasound picture in her room because it was the only photo her father, Patrick Danahy, had seen of her before his death at 35 in the collapse of Tower 2. Though she is close to stepdad Andy Sammel (whom she and sisters Katie and Allison call "dad"), she asks her mom Mary to tell stories about "Daddy Patrick," and sleeps every night with one of his bike jerseys.