Local

She was 7 when her father died on 9/11. Here’s how she remembers him.

It's been 20 years since Natalie Metz's father died in the terrorist attacks. She fondly remembers the outdoorsy man who loved Boston sports.

Natalie Metz and her father, Raymond. – Courtesy of Natalie Metz

When Boston College graduate Natalie Metz thinks back on her early childhood in Connecticut, she remembers her dad being the outdoorsy type and that she learned to ski and rollerblade at a young age as a result.

But there was also the girl-dad aspect of Raymond Metz, which meant he was very willing to play with dolls with his two daughters.

Sadly, besides some home videos and photos, that’s mostly what is left of Natalie’s memories of her father.

Twenty years ago, Raymond Metz was killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks; he worked at Euro Brokers. Natalie was just 7 when her father died; her sister was four years younger.

Advertisement:

Now, the 20th anniversary is about to come, and thousands prepare to remember those lost on that tragic day.

Recently, Natalie’s sister began to digitize home movies from their childhood. 

“There was a lot of videography going on in my house, normally filmed by him,” Natalie, now 27, said.

But sometimes the cameraman would set the device down, and Raymond Metz appears on video, frozen in time.

Despite working in New York City, Raymond Metz was an avid Boston sports fan, something that he would be teased about by others. While Natalie said she isn’t as dedicated a fan herself, she has her dad’s 1997 Patriots jersey.

In the years since the attacks through now, Natalie, her mom, and her sister have lived with the repercussions of what that day took away. As kids, the siblings lit the Christmas tree in their Connecticut town one season in honor of him.

On the 10th anniversary of the attacks, Natalie and her family went to Ground Zero to see the memorial that had been built.

When she reached young adulthood, Natalie pursued her dreams. She graduated from Boston College with a degree in International Studies and now works in Belfast, Ireland, for a charitable organization that gives advice and helps older adults with building services.

Advertisement:

There’s a parallel between the lives of Natalie’s parents and that of her and her sister. While Natalie began her college career at College of the Holy Cross, she ended up transferring to Boston College, her mother’s alma mater, between her freshman and sophomore years.

“My parents, one went to BU, one went to BC,” she said. “And me and my sister, I went to BC, and my sister went to BU.”

Natalie Metz. – Courtesy of Natalie Metz

Natalie credits her educational opportunities with where she is today, and part of that was made possible by the Families of Freedom Fund, which provides scholarships to students who either had someone killed in the attacks that day or has experienced a loss since due to the illnesses some of those there that day suffered. Nearly 3,800 students were given $178.7 million in scholarships over the years. There are still 3,000 students who need support.

“My mom told me about the scholarship when I was first applying to colleges,” Natalie said. “It wasn’t the make or break for me, we would’ve figured out another way to do it, but … just the peace of mind of knowing that it was an option was really great.”

Advertisement:

Also being a transfer student, Natalie was grateful that the scholarship, which paid a portion of her tuition, followed her to her new school.

“When I was looking to make a change, I  knew I would still have that wherever I ended up,” she said.

Thinking back on the day itself, Natalie said she doesn’t remember much. Her mother also worked in New York City, and she recalls being picked up from school by a friend’s mother.

Nowadays, when the anniversary looms each year, she tries to keep it lowkey and “get through the day,” she said.

Despite her loss, Natalie credits the scholarship program with helping her reach her educational goals. Through her adjustments and changing her mind, the fund was there to help support her.

“I love where I am now, and a lot of that wouldn’t have happened otherwise,” she said.

Jump To Comments

Conversation

This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com