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A wife and mother reflects
on the 10th anniversary
of the 9-11 attacks.
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an expression on my kids' faces. I lost the
love of my life, my partner, my best friend,
my children's father. How was I ever going
to do this on my own, I wondered? But
there was something I did know because
of my prior life experiences that prepared
me and allowed me to carry forward. I had
to — there wasn't any other choice'
Top: Memorial light beams at
Building a New Life
Cheryl and Ian first met in June, 1981,
when she was transferred to Cantor
Fitzgerald in New York from an office in
Beverly Hills, Calif. They became great
friends and a few years later romance
blossomed. They were married on Feb. 16,
1985. Over the course of four short years,
they welcomed three children, two daugh-
ters and a son.
"The dreams and plans Ian and I had
for our life and family were now gone
she said. "My goal was to help myself and
my kids become as emotionally whole
as possible and guide them to become
productive, engaged adults living an hon-
Over the last decade, Schneider says
she's accomplished that by slowly build-
ing a new life for her family while keeping
Ian's memory with them at all times.
"It hasn't been easy:' she said. "There
are always reminders of what we have lost,
what Ian missed out on. I've been lucky to
be surrounded and comforted by a loving,
caring family, amazing friends that have
always kept an eye out for us, and a com-
munity that took our loss as personally as
Ten years later, with the painful anni-
versary looming, Schneider has been busy
helping two of her three children pack
and head off to college. Rachel, 20, is now
a junior at the University of Michigan.
Her brother, Jake, 19, is a sophomore at
Wesleyan University in Connecticut. The
youngest, Sophie, 17, is going into her
senior year at Millburn High School.
A message she wrote on her father's
online 9-11 memorial page Sept. 10, 2007,
is still there today. It reads: "Hi Daddy, I
miss you tonight more than ever. I will be
thinking about you all day tomorrow. I
love you daddy and miss you s000 much!"
Back in May, the world watched as
President Obama announced Osama
bin Laden was killed in a top secret U.S.
military operation. Bin Laden, the world's
most wanted terrorist, was the alleged
mastermind behind the 9-11 attacks.
Following his death, evidence gathered
from his secret compound in Pakistan
revealed the al Qaeda leader was planning
future attacks and had even considered
the 10th anniversary as a good time to
strike again, although no specific plot
appears to have been planned.
"Killing Osama bin Laden was a good
thine Schneider said. "Unfortunately,
there will be others who will take his
place. But, hopefully it sent a clear mes-
sage that we will stay the course in the war
Upon hearing the news of bin Laden's
death, Hermelin also took a moment to
"Good — they finally caught him!"
she said. "I guess we're all worried about
what's going to happen here in the States
now We needed to have caught him a
long time before this. He's had nine years
to spread his terrible poison. Losing my
nephew made a tremendous change in the
family. This doesn't bring him back, and it
doesn't take back all of the terror attacks
Schneider says she'd like to believe our
country is now a safer place.
"That's certainly evident by what we're
told to do when we travel by air:' she said.
"I don't think my kids remember a time
when you didn't have to undress before
going through security at the airport. I
think there have been resources commit-
ted and protocols put into place for poten-
tial terror threats. We're a much more
aware and vigilant country." I 1
September 8 2011
Bottom: Ian Schneider and his
family one week before Sept. 11,
"There isn't a day that goes by that we
don't think about Ian',' Schneider said."There
was always something to laugh about when
he was around. Many times we find our-
selves recounting the funny stories involving
Ian. Once the laughter subsides, there is a
bittersweet moment I can't help feeling. What
has been surprising to me even 10 years
later is the ongoing kindness people still
offer even if they're just learning that we are
a '9-11 family.' It's hard sometimes to wrap
my head around the fact that my family, my
husband, is part of world history'
Returning to Ground Zero
Schneider says in the months leading up
to the 10th anniversary, she's struggled
with how to mark the somber occasion.
Because her husband often told her, "Every
day is a party and you're always invited:'
she decided to host a get-together with
family and friends Sept. 10 to toast Ian
and celebrate his life.
On Sept. 11, she and the children will
attend the ceremony at Ground Zero
dedicating the National 9-11 Memorial.
The site features two enormous waterfalls
and reflecting pools, each about an acre
in size, where the twin towers once stood.
President Barack Obama and former
President George W. Bush will be there;
officials will take turns reading quotations
and poems. The list of 9-11 victims will
also be read in its entirety.
The event will only be accessible to family
members of those killed in the attacks; the
memorial will open to the general public, by
reservation, the following day. Construction
of a museum and 1 World Trade Center,
a 1,776-foot tower, which will become
America's tallest building, is still under way.
"I feel its important for us to attend the
ceremony at Ground Zero. The four of us
have never done that together;' Schneider
said."The reflecting pools of the museum
will be opening. I want to see and touch
Ian's name inscribed on the pool that repre-
sents the north tower, 1 World Trade Center,
where he spent 23 years working for Cantor
Fitzgerald. It will be an incredibly emotional
day, but it's one we will get through as we
have all the others."