Two More 9/11 Victims Identified, Bringing Total To 1,649

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In the shadow of the looming 22nd-anniversary commemoration of the September 11th attacks, a somber revelation resonates deeply within New York City. Authorities have successfully identified two more victims of the devastating assault on the World Trade Center, pushing the overall count to 1,649.

The identifications, confirmed by the city’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, were achieved through advanced DNA examination, a testament to the unrelenting dedication to bring closure to the families of the deceased. Each passing breakthrough in this painstaking process acts as a beacon of hope and closure, amidst the prevailing uncertainty.

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At the behest of their families, names of the newly identified victims have been temporarily withheld. This milestone marks the first successful identification since September 2021.

The familial connection was re-established through meticulous probing of the DNA residues recovered from the tragic site. The man was identified from remains extracted in 2001, while the woman’s DNA fragments were pieced together from remains recovered in 2001, 2006, and 2013.

Navigating through the complex maze of biogenetics, the investigators relied on the latest advancements– the next-generation sequencing technology, a far more potent tool in terms of sensitivity and speed than the traditional approaches to DNA identification. This progressive methodology, often employed by the U.S. military to identify their missing servicemembers, has proven instrumental in resolving these decades-long disappearances.

Yet, despite such technological strides, nearly 40% of those believed to have perished in the abhorrent catastrophe remain nameless to this day. Out of the reported 2,753 people who went missing following the attacks, approximately 1,100 individuals still await to be identified. Although death certificates have already been issued to acknowledge each loss, the monumental task to unify each certificate with a corresponding DNA profile persists.

Michael Graham, Chief Medical Examiner, termed this ongoing attempt as, “the most extensive and challenging forensic investigation in U.S. history.” He reiterated the unwavering commitment of the OCME to return the remains of the World Trade Center victims to their bereaved kin.

Echoing similar sentiments, Mayor Eric Adams, reflected on the perennial grief of the victims’ families. He stated, “As we draw closer to another painful anniversary of September 11, we genuinely empathize with the countless families who incessantly endure the agonizing void left by their departed loved ones.” He further added, “We anticipate that these new identifications may provide some solace to these anguished families. The unwaning efforts of the OCME bespeak the city’s unyielding resolve to repatriate every World Trade Center victim with their family.”