Local News

Chapel Hill Man Grieves For Daughter Lost In World Trade Center Attack

Posted September 27, 2001

— The Sept. 11 attacks have affected us all in one way or another. For a Chapel Hill man, the loss simply cannot be put into words.

On Aug. 11, John Manley proudly walked his youngest daughter down the aisle. He describes Sara as the perfect bride.

"The wedding was the highlight of her life without a doubt," says Manley. "She looked lovely, just lovely."

Wedding presents are still stacked neatly by Manley's front door, but just one month after the wedding, he is trying to cope with his daughter's death.

"I just get overwhelmed with a feeling of loss and grief," he says.

Sara Manley worked on floor 93 of the World Trade Center; she was in the first building that was hit.

Manley waited for hours, hoping to learn that his daughter had been somewhere else that morning.

"It became obvious to me pretty quickly that the plane hit just about where she was. And when that call didn't come, it was pretty obvious to me that she was at work." says Manley. "I like to think, and I do believe, that she died instantly. Hopefully she never knew what hit her."

Manley is taking comfort in the little things. He says that his daughter spent the months before her wedding decorating his Chapel Hill home.

"Sara's fingerprints are all over this home in a good way," he says.

This father does not try to mask his pain or his pride.

"I'm her father, but I thought she was beautiful. She'll never be forgotten," says Manley.

Memorial services will be held for Sara in her hometown of Wyckoff, N.J. and next month in Chapel Hill. Sara's husband is starting a scholarship in her name at Georgetown University.

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