(more recent posts below)
I was assigned a name: Martin Morales Zempoaltecatl. I had never heard this name. There are others that you recognized after hearing them on the news time and time again. People like Todd Beemer, Barbara Olsen, Chick Burlingame. But has anyone ever heard the name Martin Morales Zempoaltecatl? Truth be told, I can’t even pronounce it. I decided to start my search for this young man on Google. It made sense. I typed in the long name, and came up with over 700 hits, the majority were sites listing the names of those who parrished on 11 September 2001. They’re long lists. But nothing told me about the person Martin had been. He was 22 years old. Too young to die. He worked as an assistant chef in the Windows of the World. This is all the information I could find. I wanted to know more. Was he married? Did he have children who will never see their daddy again? Where did he come from, what place did he call home, and will never be able to return? I know he lived in Queens. But where in Queens? What were his dreams that will never be fulfilled?
I received this picture from the 2996 group, but hadn’t really had a chance to actually look at this young man. The first thing I noticed, as I usually do, are his eyes. He has kind eyes. Was he a kind person? He must have been, he supported his parents. Then I saw a sweet, cheerful smile, and I knew he was a good person. For some reason, I see him liking children, nieces, nephews, the neighborhood kids.
Doing a little more digging, I found out Martin was born in Santa Catarina, Tlaxcala, Mexico. He supported his parents, Crescencio Morales, 60, and Mauricia Zempoaltecatl, also 60. Martin was the youngest of their children, and this tragedy hit them quite hard. They have since returned to Mexico.
One thing I did discover, as of that article, the family had not received any of the thousands of dollars that had been given so generously by the American people. I hope that has now been resolved. I’d like to find out if the family is now able to care for their other children and grandchildren.
This young man evidently wasn’t counted among the slaughtered innocents originally. Maybe he was in the country illegally, I’m not sure. It doesn’t matter. Legal, illegal, no one should have been murdered in such a manner on 11 September 2001. He is now counted. I am counting him. I will always remember Martin Morales Zempoaltecatl. May he rest in the loving arms of the Lord.