NEW YORK – It’s been 12 years since the 9/11 terror attack on US soil, the day that changed the lives of so many people in New York.
Families and friends of the nearly 3,000 victims make their yearly trip to Ground Zero to remember their loved ones who perished on September 11, 2001.
At least 18 of those who died in the Twin Towers were Filipinos, another two were aboard one of the planes that hit them.
The Gamboa family drove all the way from Louisville, KY to say a prayer for Ronald Gamboa and his son David. The 2 Filipino-Americans were among the passengers of United Flight 175 from Boston that hit the South Tower that morning.
Their names were among those read at a simple ceremony held at Ground Zero.
"It brings back a lot of the pain that we went through, we still think about him a lot when we come here, it’s almost reliving the trauma and what happened that day," said the victim’s sister, Maria Gamboa-Joule.
Knowing what it’s like to lose a loved one to terrorism, Gamboa’s mother Renee said she feels for the families of the victims of the recent chemical weapons attack in Syria, but she said she agrees with President Obama’s plan to punish Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad if that would deter chemical weapons from ever reaching the US soil, and only if allied nations would back the US airstrike.
“It should be the whole world, because when they retaliate, it will be a retaliation on the United States and we already have suffered," Renee Gamboa said, "I think he (Obama) should go ahead.”
Rameses Bautista said he misses his wife Marlyn, an office clerk who was working at the North tower when the plane struck it.
While he favors the airstrike, Bautista said, he’d like to see a more diplomatic solution.
"If there is any possible peaceful way to settle everything, I think it should be done," Bautista said, "Secondly, he has to be really be definitely seriously sure of his evidences because that’s a big commitment to the United States and the whole human race."
Meantime, as the world waits for the crisis in Syria to be resolved peacefully or by show of force, Bautista said he plans to build a memorial in his hometown in Santa Ana in Manila similar to the ones at the 9-11 memorial reflecting pool where the names of all the Filipino victims will be etched on it.
"I hope they find peace. I hope we all find peace and move on, because we have to move on," he said.