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Publication Date: Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Widow of Flight 93 passenger says community support is unwavering Widow of Flight 93 passenger says community support is unwavering (September 11, 2002)

By Sharon Driscoll

Almanac Staff Writer

"It's been the slowest year of my life, and also the fastest," says Dorothy Garcia, reflecting on life without her husband, Andy Garcia, a passenger on United Flight 93, the hijacked plane that crashed in Pennsylvania September 11, killing all aboard.

"I've been trying to deal with the sense of loss at losing my life partner and the love of my life," she says. "I've also been so busy. I'm trying to run a business and keep my family and house going. And my daughter Audrey had a baby last September. That was hard to go through without Andy."

Over the past two months she's had a special focus: training for the New York Marathon that she and Kelly will run in November along with 15 other family members of Flight 93 passengers.

She says she's training hard for the 26.2-mile run, but she's also looking forward to it.

"It's given me a real sense of focus and a way to honor all the passengers from Flight 93," she says.

The support she's received from her friends and neighbors through this difficult year has not wavered, she says. They even organized a 5K run in her neighborhood on Labor Day to mark Andy's birthday. About 60 people showed up; coffee and doughnuts were donated by Konditorei Coffee Shop in Ladera and bagels donated by Posh Bagel in Menlo Park. She says she had a chance to relax and enjoy her neighbors' company.

"My community is really an example of what the human race should be like," she says. "I'd like to thank the community again for really supporting me throughout the year. They've been here for me in my time of need, going that extra mile to show they care, and to help."

She says she's also found support and comfort with other family members of Flight 93 passengers.

"We keep in touch with e-mail and on the phone," she says. "There are some I speak with several times a week."

As for how she'll mark the one-year anniversary of her husband's death, and the national tragedy of September 11, she says she'll have a private memorial.

"I'm doing OK," she says. "About as well as can be expected."


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