Staten Island Man Builds Winter Wonderland to Honor Wife Killed on 9/11

A Santa Claus, nutcrackers, and other Christmas-themed displays fill the yard of Joe DiMartino. An inset image shows his wife, Debra Ann DiMartino.
Steve Burns/WCBS 880

A Staten Island man has turned his yard into a winter wonderland that pays tribute to his wife, who was killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11.

WCBS Newsradio 880 reports that Joe DiMartino spent the past three months building the DiMartino Winter Wonderland at his home in the borough’s Charleston neighborhood.

The attraction features Victorian displays, including a bakery and a dance hall, complete with holiday-themed props like elves, reindeer, Santa Clauses, and gingerbread men.

It all honors DiMartino’s late wife, Debra Ann DiMartino, who worked as a stock trader for Keefe, Bruyette & Woods on the 89th floor of the South Tower. She was 36 years old.

“After that horrible day, when people were there for me and my family—this is my turn to give back. And this is what I’m doing,” DiMartino said in an interview with WCBS 880.

Proceeds from the attraction benefit pediatric cancer patients at Staten Island University Hospital. In addition to helping cancer patients, DiMartino says he loves seeing the happiness his wonderland brings to visitors.

“I want everybody to come here and forget all the craziness that's going on in the world,” he said.

By 9/11 Memorial Staff

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