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9/11 victim with no photo finally pictured 21 years on

9/11 victim with no photo finally pictured 21 years on

Albert Ogletree's picture was missing from the 9/11 tribute wall, which prompted museum worker, Grant Llera, to try and track it down.

Back in 2017, a tribute wall was created at the 9/11 museum, which displays the name of every person who died on that tragic day in September 2001.

Of the nearly 3,000 victims shown, only two people didn't have a picture alongside their name on the tribute wall - one of whom being a shy Michigan-native by the name of Albert Ogletree.

Incredibly, approaching the 21st anniversary of the 11 September attack, a picture of the man was finally found thanks to the diligent efforts of a 9/11 tribute museum worker.

An oak leaf has previously occupied the spot above Ogletree's name where a portrait would have been, but thanks to Grant Llera, a High School photograph of the individual has finally been tracked down.

Albert Ogletree's name on the tribute wall was pictured alongside an oak leaf for over 20 years.
CBS News

The victim had previously been an employee at the cafeteria of Cantor Fitzgerald, a financial firm, which was situated on the upper floors of the World Trade Center's North Tower.

Ogletree did not survive the attack, which saw two hijacked commercial planes smash into both of the twin towers.

While he was survive by a wife, The Mail reports that she died three years after 9/11; and with the couple not having any children together, finding a picture of him became that much harder.

This wasn't helped by the fact that Ogletree was reportedly very camera shy.

Today, the 9/11 Tribute museum, which sits in the footprint of the old World Trade Center, displays the face of every victim from that day.

For two decades, the oak Leaf has been in place of Ogletree's picture, in spite of the best efforts of museum workers to locate one.

The Twin Towers Tribute In Light art installation shines in Lower Manhattan near One World Trade Center.

Not even a personal tribute by Ogletree's stepdaughter on Facebook could help them, as her post didn't include a picture of the man.

After years of reaching nothing but dead ends, museum worker Grant Llera took matters into his own hands.

The 30-year-old told CBS News: "It always bothered me that they didn't have photos — there was a hole in their stories that needed to be filled."

"I spend most of my time doing admissions and answering questions from visitors in the galleries, but I really wanted to take this on."

He approached genealogy company who managed to find an address for him in Romulus, Michigan, about 23 miles southwest of Detroit.  

From there, Llera was able to work out which high school the 9/11 victim attended, but after his request for a yearbook from the 60s hit a wall, in stepped councilwoman and retired maths teacher Kathy Abdo to assist.

Remarkably, she managed to locate the yearbook in question in Romulus, Michigan's Historical Society - which houses copies.

"The school called me and said — you know, we got this request and we don't have any photos — and I said, 'I'll look into it," Abdo told the Free Press.

"The fact that a Romulus student died in 9/11 made me feel an obligation to find his picture."

In the end, she did just that, uncovering a picture of Ogletree as a 15-year-old, which now is on full display at the 9/11 museum in New York.

After years of searching, the man's yearbook picture was finally located.
CBS News.

Chief Curator of the tribute wall Jan Ramirez told CBS News: "It is a place no one wishes their loved one to be seen, given the circumstances of why they are there."

"'Nonetheless, it is so rewarding to retire that leaf icon tile with the replacement of this quietly compelling portrait."

"It sets up immediately the diversity of the victims, the magnitude."

While very little is know about Ogletree's life, other than the fact he was born on Christmas Day, 1951 in Romulus, his stepdaughter's touching Facebook tribute does give us window into the kind of person he was.

Justine Jones described him as a 'loving man who played an important role in my life'.

If you’re experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They’re open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58 and they also have a webchat service if you’re not comfortable talking on the phone

Featured Image Credit: CBS / Universal Images Group North America LLC / Alamy

Topics: Terrorism, US News, New York