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The 9/11 Decade: Just Another Day for Garbarini

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – This Sunday will mark the 10th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. For Andrea Garbarini and others who lost a loved one that day, it's just another day.

"It's almost awkward, I'll call up other widows and it's like what are we supposed to say, 'happy 9/11?'" Garbarini said. "Every day is like 9/11 for us, we live it every day."

Garbarini lost her husband, Lt. Charley Garbarini, a New York City firefighter, as he was evacuating some of the over 1,000 people that were staying in the Marriott World Trade Center, adjacent to the towers. As the south tower collapsed, it split the Marriott Hotel in half onto members of Garbarini's Engine 23 crew.

In the years after the tragedy, Garbarini said she found help in meeting with other widows of lost firefighters, some who were featured in her documentary, "From the Ground Up." Garbarini was also able to receive help from distant, unknown friends. This past winter, Garbarini and a friend traveled to Rwanda for two weeks to help treat malaria and speak with women who lost their husbands during the country's genocide.

"It was great speaking with those women," Garbarini said. "You can't compare people's tragedies but we've never experienced something like that before,"

Garbarini said a key part of her healing process was to not keep a grudge.

"It's important not to keep hate in your heart, the more hatred you hold on to, the less moving forward you can do."

Ten years later, one of the more difficult tasks for Garbarini is explaining the tragic event to her two sons Dylan and Phillip, who were only 4 and 3-years-old at the time, respectively. However, she believes the event is tough for anyone to comprehend, regardless of how they were affected.

"How do you explain it to anyone?" Garbarini said. "It's tough explaining to your children that are so young that they can't always trust their fellow human beings,"

Although it may just be another day, Andrea Garbarini will head down to Ground Zero this Sunday, with her sons for the first time, to remember a man they called a husband and a father who gave his life saving others at that very site 10 years ago.

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