Queens native who lost father in September 11th attacks makes sure his legacy lives on

As we pause to reflect on this anniversary of the September 11th attacks, NY1 is taking a look at some of the children who lost parents during the terrorist attack. Shannan Ferry introduces us to a Queens native who spends every day making sure her dad's legacy lives on. 

Home videos are important to Jessica Waring. They help her remember her father, James Waring, who died in the September 11th attacks. 

"He loved to make people laugh. He was really like a big kid. He was crawling on the floor with us," Jessica said. "Those are the times that I miss." 

James Waring was working on one of the top floors in the north tower on September 11, 2001. Jessica Waring was beginning her second day as a freshman at St. Francis Prep in Queens.

In the days that followed, Jessica, the oldest of four sisters, and her mother called hospitals and posted missing persons fliers, hoping for information. But they soon realized he would not be returning to their home in Bayside. 

"Every time of the year, you go through the motions and think, 'Oh, what was I doing at this time with my dad?'" Jessica said.

Sixteen years later, Jessica keeps her father's memory alive. Family photographs are everywhere in her apartment, along with her dad's favorite records and Green Bay Packers gear, his favorite team. And a bracelet she wears bearing her father's name never comes off.

"I just like to have it on me," Jessica said. "You know, if I'm having a bad moment and I see it on my wrist."

Jessica isn't only keeping her dad's memory alive, but others, too. She's helping to produce a documentary about kids who lost parents in the September 11th attacks.

"Terrorism didn't stop our life," she said. "They may have halted it a little bit, but we've only come back stronger. And I think that's what the world needs to see." 

And she passes on that message of strength, mentoring others younger than her who also lost parents on that day. She says together, the "9/11 kids" have formed their own family.

And although her family was torn apart by the attacks, she says she believes her dad is with them in spirit. She says it gives her comfort, especially on difficult days like Sepetmber 11th.

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