BATTERY PARK, MANHATTAN – While Father’s Day is dedicated to spending time with your dad, it’s also a day of remembrance for those who’ve lost their parent.
On Thursday, families whose fathers fell on 9/11 were treated to a trip to the Statue of Liberty right before the holiday.
The event was put on by Statue City Cruises and nonprofit organization Tuesday’s Children, which started after Tuesday, September 11 to give long-term support to the more than 3,000 children who lost a parent on that day.
“Seven out of eight 9/11 families lost their dad, so Father’s Day brings it all back,” said Terry Sears, executive director of Tuesday’s Children. “Dad is not there, so to provide an opportunity like today for these families to be together with one another is just really special.”
Two decades later, the organization not only serves the 9/11 community, including first responders, but also our nation’s Gold Star families. It also provides support to communities impacted by terrorism and mass violence globally.
Shay Mahon was only 21 months old when she lost her father, Thomas, who worked on the North Tower’s 105th floor for Cantor Fitzgerald.
“Even though he had a short amount of time with her, he used all that time that he had, he gave to her,” said Shay’s mother, Beth.
Shay is now 22 years old. “On 9/11, everyone will reach out to you, but a lot of people forget that Father’s Day — no one will be like, ‘I’m thinking about you’ besides our immediate family, so I think Father’s Day, although it was really hard for me when I was younger, I think now I use it as a way to honor my dad,” said Shay.
She’s now following in her father’s footsteps by also working in finance. She and her mom visited the Statue of Liberty for her first time on the trip.
“I’m so excited just to hear about the history of our country and Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, being such a prominent role in New York City and it’s a very famous landmark and immigration,” said Shay.
While this time of year is tough for families, they stepped off the boat cherishing the day spent with each other, seeing an iconic symbol of freedom and democracy.