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Photo of Norwich’s Robert Peraza Still Resonates on 9/11

Robert Peraza
Getty Images

It is the photo that touched the hearts of every parent on the planet and every American in the country. It is of Robert Peraza, a former Norwich resident who lost his son, Robert David Peraza, in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the moment he reads the name at the 9/11 Memorial in Manhattan.

Robert Peraza
Getty Images

His son’s ashes, which were generic ash from ground zero, are collected in an urn to remember the life.

Ten years later, Peraza returned to the spot the tower in which his son worked collapsed to walk about the the 9/11 Memorial. He may have hoped to find his son’s name etched along with the other thousands of victims. He may not have expected to find it.

And he never expected for his raw emotion to captivate the nation so long after the attacks. But when he found his son’s name, he dropped to a knee, bowed his head, and allowed his emotions to envelop him.

The image is as powerful today as any seen the day of the attacks and yet is somehow comforting. There is closure here, and Peraza’s son isn’t really gone. He certainly isn’t and never will be forgotten.

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