Remembering West Springfield resident killed on 9/11

Hampden County

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- West Springfield native Melissa Harrington-Hughes was one of nearly 3,000 people who died during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Melissa was in the North Tower of The World Trade Center on that day. She called her father while she was trying to escape after the plane hit the tower.

“I asked her if she can see an exit sign and she said she could and I said under the exit sign there’s a stairwell and I said get out as fast as you can. Told her I loved her and she said she loved me and that was it,” Bob Harrington said.

Though the terrorist attacks happened nearly two decades ago, friends, family, law enforcement and members of the West Springfield community still show support for Melissa’s father and her family.

Dozens showed up to an annual ceremony on the town green where an eternal flame burns honoring Melissa and thousands of others who died on 9/11.

“It’s good to see, because after 18 years..certain stuff like this tends to fizzle out but not here in west side. Great turnout, great to honor Melissa and it’s great to see west side cares,” West Springfield Mayor William Reichelt said.

Melissa’s father offered advice to other families who lost loved ones on 9/11.

“Just think of all the positive things you have in your life and the times that you had with your children, wife and never forget them or the times that you had. She only lived 31 years but she had a wonderful life.”

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