Rosa Julia Gonzalez

World Trade Center

'Take Care of My Daughter'



After the attack, when Rosa Julia Gonzalez telephoned her sister Migdalia from the offices of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on the 66th floor of 2 World Trade Center, these were her last words: ''I love you,'' she said. And then: ''Promise to me that you are going to take care of my daughter.'' That is because to Rosa, 32, a single mother who worked as a secretary, her 12-year- old Jennifer was everything. Certainly, Migdalia tried to reassure Rosa. But she was never sure her words had registered. The call was cut off. Only a little while later -- 10, maybe 15 minutes -- the building collapsed. ''Of course, Migdalia will take care of Jennifer,'' said Rosa's older sister Maria. ''We will all take care of Jennifer.'' The ''we'' refers to the six Gonzalez sisters who are not missing. Every day they and the rest of the family have been gathering in Jersey City, where Rosa lived. ''The situation is,'' Maria said, ''we have to be strong for Jennifer.'

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 21, 2001.




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