The Legacy Letters was compiled by Tuesday’s Children, an organization dedicated to supporting the 9/11 children into adulthood while continuing to address the evolving needs of this population. All royalties benefit programs to help 9/11 family members.
The following letter is excerpted with permission of the publisher, and is just one of many that are included in this moving and inspiring collection.
David William Laychak was born on January 13, 1961, in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to Robert and Patricia Laychak. Dave earned a BA from Brown University and an MBA from Syracuse University. After college, he met Laurie Miller while working at the Pentagon and they were married in 1988. They had two children: Zachary in 1992 while living in Syracuse, New York, and Jennifer in 1994 while living in Sierra Vista, Arizona. Dave was a gentle soul who loved his wife, children, church, country and sports. On September 11, Dave was in his office at the Pentagon where he worked as a civilian for the Department of the Army. He was forty years old.
Letter writer: Jennifer Laychak (daughter)
I was seven years old when you were killed. I am now sixteen. I have spent more than half of my life without you. A lot of time has passed, yet those of us who lost someone will never be the same. People think that we have “moved on,” but I prefer to think that we have moved forward. Our loss will always be a part of who we are. It is part of our story. As I reread what I wrote in my diary as a little girl, I am amazed at how the thoughts and feelings transcend time. I still have the same thoughts (although my spelling has improved). I will always miss you.
People focus on the significant moments. You weren’t here for my first date, to teach me to drive, or to watch me perform on my school’s dance team. You won’t be here for my graduation or to walk me down the aisle at my wedding. However, it isn’t just the monumental moments that you are missing. It is the small everyday moments. That’s what I miss the most. I have to take comfort in knowing that you are within me. I have many of your physical traits that are a part of who I am. I also have some of your character traits as well. Most importantly, I will always carry you in my heart.
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