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Sept. 11 Took Boy's Grandfather, Friend

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Sept. 11 Took Boy's Grandfather, Friend

Sept. 11 Took Boy's Grandfather, Friend

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(Soundbite of music)

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

It is Friday morning and time again for StoryCorps. And this week we'll hear memories from September 11th, 2001. Another anniversary is approaching. StoryCorps and the National September 11th Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center have been working together to collect an oral history of that day. They hope to record interviews for each of the lives lost in the attacks. Diana DeVito interviewed her ten-year-old son, Frankie, for this project. Frankie lost his grandfather, Diana's dad, Bill Steckman. Mr. Steckman worked the night shift at atop One World Trade Center as an engineer for NBC's transmitter there.

Mr. FRANKIE DEVITO: We used to play Peter Pan and we used to use the screwdrivers as swords and pretend I was like Peter Pan and he was Captain Hook. He always used to be in the garage fixing up things with cousin Mikey. And he also promised me he'd take me to his work once, but that's not going to happen.

Ms. DIANA DEVITO: I know you were young when it happened, you were only in Kindergarten. Is there a time that you were the most scared when all that was going on?

Mr. DEVITO: I didn't know that something happened until I came to the living room and you were upset. You said there was something wrong with Papa. It made me scared. I remember that Mikey told me that planes crashed and he wasn't coming back.

Ms. DEVITO: Is there anything you did that made you to feel better to go to sleep at night?

Mr. DEVITO: Cuddling up to Grandma or my parents, giving them hugs, resting on their shoulder. And sometimes running to my room and pretending that Grandpa was right there, nothing was wrong, and my teddy was right there. So that helps me.

Ms. DEVITO: Do you think you're different now than you were before we lost Papa?

Mr. DEVITO: Yeah, I think I'm different because being in certain places when I'm at a happy time, just somewhere in my mind he just won't get out of there. He's just stuck in my mind and that makes me a little sadder where I am. And I have dreams with him. I always imagine us like seeing each other again and being really happy as a family without being sad or anything on September 11th.

Ms. DEVITO: If you could talk to him right now, what would you want to say?

Mr. DEVITO: I love you and there's no other grandfather I'd rather see than you.

(Soundbite of music)

INSKEEP: That's Diana DeVito and her son Frankie remembering his grandfather, Bill Steckman. Their interview will be archived with all StoryCorps interviews at the Library of Congress. And you can find the StoryCorps Podcast at NPR.org.

(Soundbite of music)

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