Remembrances of Love from the 9/11 Museum Oral Histories

Melodie Homer and her husband, Leroy Homer Jr., smile for a wedding photo.
Melodie Homer and her husband, LeRoy Homer Jr. Courtesy of Flight 93 National Memorial

The oral histories collected by 9/11 Memorial Museum span the range of the whole human experience. The tales of bravery and loss, endurance and suffering and life and death often have one element in common: love. Familial love, the platonic love of friends and coworkers, the selfless love that would cause someone to give their life for a stranger. There are also tales of romantic love. These are three such stories, as recalled by people who lost their partner that day.

Melodie Homer Remembers Her Husband LeRoy W. Homer Jr.

LeRoy is just very romantic. You know when you watch romantic comedies and they seem so contrived? Like, he would make me breakfast in bed for no reason. He would go on a trip and write me a postcard and I’d get it like a week and a half later, but I mean, he was just a gentleman. He was just, you know, the most wonderful person to be married to. He could make the simplest things like really special, like I remember one day when I first moved to New Jersey, it was raining, but it was in the summer. It was nice and warm, and we had a porch and he would say ‘Come out here on the porch.’ And we went out on the porch and he brought a bottle of wine and we just watched the rain. Or I’d come home from working 12 hours at seven o’clock at night, and you know, the fireplace is going and all of the candles are lit and he made dinner. And for just a day of the week, you know, he would do that.

-- As recalled by Melodie Homer

Elaine “Cookie” Moccia Recalls Her Husband Frank V. Moccia Sr.

Collection of the 9/11 Memorial Museum

I met my husband in June of ’69. His friend was going out with my friend, and they would say, ‘Oh come on Cook, you’ve got to meet Frank.’ I said, ‘No, leave me alone I’m okay.’ So they tricked us, and they introduced us. And when I first met him, I wasn’t too crazy about him. And I told my girlfriend Angela, ‘Don’t bother, he’s not my type.’ But then she says, ‘Okay, we’re going to go bowling next weekend, you want to come?’ I said, ‘Oh yeah, that will be nice.’ So I went, and who turned up, but Frank. So I looked at her. Well, that night I fell in love with him. We started joking around, and I liked it. Just the way he spoke, and looked, you know. I said, ‘Hmm, there’s a possibility here.’ He grew up in Williamsburg and I grew up in Long Island City and when he asked me to marry him he said, ‘Okay Cookie, I’m going to bring you to a better place.’ And he brought me right across the [Kosciusko] Bridge, to Williamsburg. I liked it, it was nice.

-- As remembered by his wife, Elaine Moccia

Shirley Liriano Fondly Looks Back on Her Husband Francisco Alberto Liriano

Collection of the 9/11 Memorial Museum With my job, I used to travel once a month. As it happens every time I would come up the elevator, that’s the time he would leave for work, because I always came back in the morning. And he would laugh and say, ‘See, I knew you were coming. That’s why I was waiting up here for you.’ With his briefcase waiting to go to work. I said, ‘Oh okay, you’re always wait for me.’ I know he was leaving.

Always when I traveled I’d come back and there would be a bouquet of flowers, with a little note, ‘I love you, I miss you, and I’ll see you later.’ Normally he would get home at seven, but those days I come back, I traveled, he would always come home by 3:30, 4 o’clock. And he would call, ‘Don’t buy food, don’t cook, I’ll buy something and bring it home so you don’t have to cook. You just go and sleep and I’ll see you later.’ He was always like that. He was good, liked to give, he wasn’t one of those guys that don’t do little things. He did all the little things.

-- As remembered by Shirley Liriano

By 9/11 Memorial Staff

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