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Brian Cachia – the ‘Maltese’ victim of 9/11

Brian Cachia, of Maltese decent, lived in New York and died during the 9/11 attacks 10 years ago. Photo: briancachia.com

Brian Cachia, of Maltese decent, lived in New York and died during the 9/11 attacks 10 years ago. Photo: briancachia.com

Ten years ago today 26-year-old Brian Cachia was called into work an hour earlier than usual because the US financial firm he worked for was experiencing problems with its computer system.

If I knew it would be the last time that I see you walk out the door, I would give you a hug and kiss and call you back for one more

At 8.46 a.m. – 14 minutes before Mr Cachia was originally meant to be at the office on floor 103 in the North tower of the World Trade Centre – American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the tower he was in.

Mr Cachia, who died just a week after getting engaged, is the only confirmed victim of Maltese descent killed during the terrorist attack on America on September 11, 2001.

Speaking to The Times soon after the tragedy his grandfather, Joseph Cachia, recounted how on that fateful Tuesday morning his grandson – whom he described as a “computer whizz” – went to work earlier than usual.

“If only he hadn’t gone in early... We never heard from him after the plane hit,” his grandfather had said, adding that Brian had joined the financial services firm, Cantor Fitzergerald, just a month earlier.

Joseph Cachia, originally from Żabbar, emigrated to the US in 1944 and his children and grandchildren were born and raised there.

On the morning of the attack, 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners. The suicide bombers intentionally crashed two of the planes into the Twin Towers in New York City.

Both towers collapsed within two hours, destroying nearby buildings. The hijackers crashed the third airliner into the Pentagon, that houses the US Department of Defence, while a fourth plane crashed in a field in rural Pennsylvania after passengers and flight crew attempted to retake control of the plane. The death toll of the attacks was 2,977. There were no survivors on any of the flights.

Another victim, Steven Genevose, may have been of Maltese descent although this was never established. He too worked at Cantor Fitzergerald as a partner and equity trader. Mr Genovese, 37, was in his office on the 104th floor of the North tower during the attack. He was married with a baby daughter.

Today, the world is remembering the horrific attacks that shook the globe. The families and friends of the victims, from some 70 countries, are holding memorial services for their loved ones and carrying out tributes.

Brian Cachia’s family set up a website, briancachia.com, in commemoration of his death, “He was young and looking forward to marriage and starting a family. Brian loved to ski and fish, and he was a true Mets, Giants, and Knicks fan. He loved animals and wrote his own music compositions. Brian left behind family and friends that mourn and miss him deeply,” the family wrote on the site.

In one of a series of dedications, his sister expressed her loss in rhyme: “If I knew it would be the last time that I see you walk out the door, I would give you a hug and kiss and call you back for one more... Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, young or old alike. And today may be the last chance you get to hold your loved one tight.”

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