Remembering a brother lost

September 11, 2008 4:14:42 PM PDT
Two brothers from Yardley, Bucks County, who spent this morning at the place where their older brother was killed seven years ago.Jonathan and Jordan Reiss returned this afternoon from a trip it took 7 years to make. Their brother, 23-year-old bond trader Joshua Reiss of Yardley was killed at the World Trade Center in 2001. Since then they've watched the memorials at home.

Joshua Scott Reiss and heard their brother's name in the roll call of victims on TV. But they avoided going to ground zero in person until today.

"I had been there about a month before the buildings were attacked and for me it was just a little too tough. I just stayed away. It felt right to stay away and this year, it just felt right to go," Jordan said.

"It still hurts, but it doesn't hurt as much and I just felt like it was my time to go and see what I had to see," Jonathan said.

The brothers say it was emotionally wrenching to be at ground zero where Josh died. Jordan described it as torture. Like many of the victims' families, they consider this place hallowed ground.

"When we went down to the pit the moment we stepped off that ramp you were there. He was with us and all the other victims there," Jordan said.

"I'd say the best comparison I could make would be walking on the field at Gettysburg, when you know something that major in history, that horrific, happened, you can actually almost feel the people there," Jonathan said.

Jordan and Jonathan each brought home a stone from the pit, which in keeping with Jewish tradition they will leave at their brother's gravestone when they visit.

"Just to know that he was there, I think he would have been proud of me for finally going," Jonathan said.

Jonathan was 15 when his brother died. He'll be 23 tomorrow. And though his three siblings and his parents have learned to cope with Joshua's death, it's the birthdays, the weddings, the holidays, when they miss him most.

It is why on this 9/11 anniversary they decided to finally go to ground zero with the families to stand in the place where Joshua and almost 3,000 other souls perished 7 years ago today.

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