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Families of 9/11 Indian victims still to recover

New York: It is said that time is the best healer, but not for the Indian families in the US whose kith and kin lost their lives on that fateful September day ten years ago, when the city faced its worst terror attack.

New Jersey resident Arjan Mirpuri`s 30-year old son Rajesh was among the 3,000 people who died on 9/11 when two airplanes crashed into the Twin Towers.

"My son did not even work at the World Trade Centre.

He had gone there that day to attend a trade show. Before that day, Rajesh had never gone to the WTC. 9/11 became the most unfortunate day of our lives," Mirpuri told PTI.

It has been 10 long years since but the pain and sadness in Mirpuri`s voice and expression is still palpable.

"Whatever happened on 9/11 was wrong. It should never have happened. We still feel miserable and upset about the tragic events of the day," he says.

Mirpuri will organise a religious ceremony, now an annual fixture, on 9/11 in memory of his son.

"We have tried to move on in life. We have to accept God`s will but nothing can compensate the loss of losing a son in such a manner."

The world may come together to remember the victims of the crash every year on 9/11 but for the Mirpuris, the anniversaries hold little meaning.

"It may be 10, 15 or 20 years but we have to live with the loss everyday single day of our lives. Our son has gone forever. We pray that no parent has to go through such a loss."

Mirpuri says he does not want to get into the political debate of what the countries and governments should do to tackle terrorism.

Neil, 25 had worked for an internet company and had married his childhood sweetheart three months before the 9/11 attacks. He had spoken to his wife as the towers collapsed.

"At that point, he didn`t say he wasn`t going to make it," Umang says in an interview to India-West.

The family set up the Neil G Shastri Foundation for Education 10 years ago and has donated almost USD 95,000 to several organisations.

It has supported a school in Bihar and created a scholarship which offers funds to students attending Rutgers University, Neil`s alma mater.

"Early on, the fundraiser was very helpful. It was a distraction that required us to put our energy into something other than thinking about Neil`s death," he said.

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