© 2022 - USMAIL24.COM. All Rights Reserved.
A 9/11 victim who was one of only two people not depicted on a tribute wall to all 3,000 victims has finally been commemorated with a photo.
Albert Ogletree’s photo was tracked down in an old Michigan high school yearbook and added to the victims’ wall at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City, ahead of the 21st anniversary of Sunday’s terror attack.
Previously, an oak leaf had taken the spot, but a photo of Ogletree attending Romulus High School in Michigan in 1966 as a freshman has now been replaced.
Ogletree was working in the cafeteria of financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald in the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, when terrorists flew a hijacked plane into the building. He did not survive the attack and his wife died just three years later.
The couple had no children and Ogletree was very camera shy, making it more difficult to find a photo of him.
“It’s a place where no one wants their loved one to be seen, given the circumstances why they are there,” said chief curator Jan Ramirez. “Nevertheless, it’s so worth replacing that leaf icon tile with the replacement of this quietly compelling portrait.
Albert Ogletree’s was missing, prompting a museum employee to do some detective work
The name of Albert Ogletree, who was killed on 9/11, was a name represented by an image of an oak leaf at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York
All the people who died in the 9/11 terror attacks are on display in the museum
“It immediately determines the diversity of the victims, the size,” Ramirez said CBS news. “When people are in the gallery, they go to the wall and they will find faces that intrigue them.”
In their efforts to learn more about him and obtain his photo, the museum staff had unsuccessfully tried to obtain his employment information from Forte Foods, which served Cantor Fitzgerald.
Ogletree’s stepdaughter had also paid tribute to him with a Facebook post, but she had no photo of him.
In the end, museum employee Grant Llera took it upon himself to find the photo of Ogletree himself.
“It always bothered me that they didn’t have photos — there was a gap in their stories that needed to be filled,” said Llera, 30.
“I spend most of my time shooting and answering questions from visitors in the galleries, but I really wanted to take this on,” he said.
He approached genealogy company Ancestry.com who managed to find him an address in Romulus, Michigan, about 37 miles southwest of Detroit.
Albert Ogletree is pictured during his freshman year in 1966, when he was 15
“I felt like if I could find where he went to high school, maybe they’d have a picture of him,” Llera said.
Llera was able to locate the high school he was attending and contacted them for a photo, but the school had no archive of their 1960s yearbooks.
Romulus councilor and retired math teacher Kathy Abdo found Ogletree’s black-and-white photograph in front of the museum last year by looking through the yearbooks housed at the city’s Historical Society.
“The school called me and said – you know, we got this request and we don’t have any pictures – 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 like I had to find his photo.”
Grant Llera, left, was the museum employee who tracked down the photo of Ogletree
Smoke and flames pour from the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center after they were hit by commercial planes in a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 in New York City
“I had an idea of what decade he was in Romulus, so I went there and flipped through all the yearbooks from the ’60s,” Abdo explained.
“I had to go through page by page and that’s where I found Albert Ogletree. It just seemed like the right thing to do.”
The photo of him was taken when he was about 15 years old and now hangs in its rightful place on the wall in the museum.
Ogletree was born on Christmas Day in 1951 and lived in Romulus with his parents and a sister. He later moved to New York and got married.
The museum said it had found an obituary for Ogletree’s wife, who died in 2004. The couple had no known descendants.
However, he did have a stepdaughter, Justine Jones, who had put a tribute online.
She remembered Ogletree as “a loving man who played an important part in her life” and a “skilled electronics repairman.”
Romulus councilor and retired math teacher Kathy Abdo found Ogletree’s black-and-white photograph in front of the museum last year by looking in the yearbooks
Ogletree’s picture was in his high school yearbook
Jones confirmed that the youthful yearbook photo was indeed Ogletree, whose appearance had remained largely unchanged over the years.
“She said his face was the same as she remembered, and she was very happy to have a picture of him,” Llera said.
Jones said she didn’t have any pictures of him because “he didn’t like to be photographed and was camera shy.”
Now only one space remains unfilled. The last identified victim whose photo has still not been found is Antonio Dorsey Pratt.
“I’d like to find a picture of Antonio too, but at least we have some answers about Albert now,” Llera said. “Finding this little memory of him reminds me of the motto we have at the exhibition: ‘No day will erase you from the memory of time.’
2,753 people died in New York. Another 184 were killed at the Pentagon in Washington DC, while 40 died on United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.
Finally, Ogletree’s name has a photo to accompany it so that it will never be forgotten