Igor Zukelman

New York, New York


New York, New York


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Ugly Car, Beautiful Dream
Nobody but a scrap yard scout would give it a second look, but to Igor Zukelman, the rather tired eight-year-old Toyota Cressida was a steel chariot, a three-dimensional symbol of his cherished dream of becoming an American.

Mr. Zukelman, 29, had saved money from the moment he landed in New York in 1992 after leaving his native Ukraine. The day he bought the Toyota -- his first car -- he knew he had embarked on the American dream. He splurged on vanity license plates, a little joke if you knew Ukrainian. The plate said Melkey, the Ukrainian equivalent of "Tiny." Mr. Zukelman weighed more than 230 pounds.

A few minutes after he took the citizenship oath earlier this year, he called his mother, Mara, in Brooklyn and told her, "You can congratulate me now, I'm already a citizen," she said.

Mr. Zukelman enrolled in a computer school, married and had a son, Allan, now 3. The family was moving from Queens to Brooklyn in September. He had a job with the Fiduciary Trust Company and thought that working at the World Trade Center was marvelous.

"He was proud that he worked on the 97th floor where he could see the whole city," said Alexander Shetman, Mr. Zukelman's brother-in-law. In April, a driver jumped a curb on Ocean Boulevard, killing Mr. Shetman's wife and two daughters. He said Mr. Zukelman helped him get through those days, staying with him overnight at the hospital, organizing the funerals, and telling him that everything would be all right.

Guest Book

Not sure what to say?

Igor, You wil always be the face of remembrance for me of those precious lives lost on 9/11. So another year has passed and I pray for your friends and family as I know all still miss and grieve their loss. The date of 9/11 will remain a point of grief and also of love. The day all Americans and those around the world supported each other in courage, comfort and caring.

Remembering you on this day Igor. You were very nice to me the day I met you. I was a visitor that week at 2WTC, and although my presence brought uncertainty, being a contractor with the task of working the recent merger of FT and Franklin Templeton, you treated me very well and made sure I was ok, situated in the office and showed me around to some of the best views. Little did we know that it would be the one and only day that we met. The next day you were gone. I was fortunate to get out...

To the family and friends of Igor Zukelman:
Please know that Igor will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not allow those we lost on 9/11 be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you.

Visited the 9/11 memorial today from England. I vowed to remember as many names as possible and find out a little about each. Igor sounds like a wonderful man and I wish all his family and friends that he left behind the very best xx

Though I never knew you, you will never be forgotten. Rest in peace.

Last but not least. So sorry for your loss.

May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.

For my friend Igor

My thoughts turn again to you on the anniversary of your tragic passing. Tears still come. I pray your family is well. I never knew you but you have touched my heart year after year at this soloem time of rememberance. This flower from my garden is for you.

On this day Igor, I remember you and your family. We worked together at Wunderman. You were quiet but your one liners made me laugh. I enjoyed our interactions and the conversations about your, then, new baby. Just know that you are remembered with fondness. I pray you are resting in peace.