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Throughout the nine-month rescue and recovery effort at Ground Zero, workers covered a 36-foot steel beam with mementos, memorial inscriptions and missing posters.
Before immigrating to the United States from his home country of Moldova, architect Arkady Zaltsman helped design the parliament building which would later become a landmark. When he and his family arrived in the U.S. in the early 1990s, the once esteemed architect was an unknown. He steadfastly worked to build his career in his new country.
“He actually was a workaholic,” his daughter, Laura Khait, told a museum oral historian. “Not in the negative sense of the word…but somebody that just is so passionate about what they do, there are not enough hours in the day to work.”
Zaltsman opened the firm AAZ Design and designed high end homes and businesses. He even submitted a design proposal for the Oklahoma City Memorial. He was eventually hired by architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
His sacrifices were worth it. “He adored New York. Just adored New York. He would show it to everybody who would come and visit later on and his favorite vista was Brooklyn Heights,” said his wife, Zhanna Galperina.
On September 11, 2001, Zaltsman was in a meeting at Aon Corporation on the South Tower’s 105th floor, presenting his plans for renovating the Toronto Airport. Today, a white rose marks what would have been his 61st birthday.
By Jenny Pachucki, 9/11 Memorial Content Strategist