THE Irish mother of a fireman killed in the Twin Towers attacks will mark the 10th anniversary of his death with deep pride.
Bridget Hunter (73) said she still sees her son Joe in her dreams a decade after he was killed. He was one of 364 firefighters who died along with 2,389 others at the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001.
"When he went to work that day, I kissed him goodbye and said 'God bless you,' never thinking what would happen," said Bridget.
Speaking to the Herald from her home on Long Island, New York, she said Joe's death devastated her family and was keenly felt by his Irish relatives.
While Joe's bravery has been widely acknowledged, he was also known in his neighbourhood for his acts of kindness.
Bridget, her husband Joseph Snr and her family will attend a major memorial ceremony next Sunday at Ground Zero in New York, attended by President Barack Obama.
There will be local memorial events to Joe and his comrades and a mass in St Patrick's Cathedral on Saturday.
She said she was moved by a "wonderful" documentary made about her 31-year-old son by broadcaster Joe Kearney for RTE Radio One and she had received several messages of support after it was broadcast last week.
Bridget is a native of Derryvealawama, located near a mountain pass in the Maamturks in Connemara.
There is a holy well and Mass rock in the area and a laminated memorial card with Joe's picture remains tied to a rock in memory of him.
A podcast of the documentary is available at RTE's website www.rte.ie/doconone.
See 9/11, pages 16-17