David Braca (DB) and Jean Braca (JB)
DB: The day of, I heard on the radio and went immediately to my parents’ house. My mother had a few years back suffered a heart attack and, being protective, I wanted to be able to filter the information so we decided not to have the TVs on.
JB: I was focusing on him coming home. I kept saying, ”He’ll be home in five hours, six hours. He’ll probably call.” It wasn’t until very late in the afternoon, we were sitting on our outdoor porch. I guess I said it again, that Al should be coming home any minute. David was facing me. He took my hand, and he took my face. And he said, ”Daddy’s not coming home, Mommy. There’s no more World Trade Center. A short time later, I knew I needed to be alone. So I went upstairs and I prayed to God. And I said, ”This is the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do. Please give me the strength to go through this.”
DB: Exactly one week later, my brother-in-law Greg and I went into Manhattan to drop off DNA samples at the Family Crisis Center. We said, ”My father’s missing.” And they wanted to know his name and I said, ”Alfred Braca.” And he began asking us very specific questions. What color hair does he have? Did he have any scars? And we realized that they had found my father’s body. I wanted desperately to be the only person to tell my mother that we found the body. But protocol had it that the New York Police Department had to notify the police department where we lived. And, they uh, came prior to our arriving and had told my mother.
JB: My reaction was, ”Praise God. You found him.” I later met up with the policeman that was there, and he said that he almost ran out of the house because he couldn’t believe my reaction. And then he thought about it later and he said, ”You had closure and many people didn’t. And I said, ”Exactly.” Because I would have searched the earth. And I woulda went anyplace to find him, but thank God, I was able to bury him and have a wonderful memorial service. I was truly blessed.