9/11 Museum Locates Yearbook Photo Of Victim After Decade-Long Search


Photo: Getty Images

For more than 10 years, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum has not been able to find photos of two of the nearly 3,000 victims who died September 11, 2001. That changed this week, following a diligent search carried out by a Romulus, Michigan city councilwoman.

Albert Ogletree was one of two victims without photos in the NYC museum since it open nearly eight years ago, but his school photo from 1966 was found in a single yearbook and hung in the Memorial Exhibition Gallery Tuesday (March 15), The Detroit Free Press reported. Now, the millions of visitors who pay their respects at the museum each year will see more than just his name.

The photo was found last year by Kathy Abdo, a Romulus city councilwoman and retired math teacher who looked through pages and pages of yearbooks –– one-by-one –– at the Romulus Historical Society until she found Ogletree.

"The school called me and said –– you know, we got this request and we don't have any photos –– and I said, 'I'll look into it,'" Abdo told The Free Press. "The fact that a Romulus student died in 9/11 made me feel an obligation to find his picture."

In her search, Abdo only found a single photo of Ogletree.

"For some reason, he was only in one yearbook," the city councilwoman explained. "I don't know if he went into the military, dropped out –– or just didn't get his picture taken. But I went through every year I could. It just seemed to be the right thing to do."

After finding the photo, Abdo called around to learn more about Ogletree, particularly why he left Romulus –– a western suburb of Detroit –– and ended up in New York. But, the one person who could point her in the right direction of finding out more ultimately told her his family was no longer in the area.

According to The Free Press, not much is known about Ogletree, but he was working for Forte Foods in the cafeteria at financial services for Cantor Fitzgerald, whose headquarters were located among the top floors of the North Tower.

Ogletree was born Christmas Day 1951 and grew up in Romulus with his parents and sister, Elizabeth.

The Search Continues

"It is a place no one wishes their loved one to be seen, given the circumstances why they are there," Jan Ramirez, the chief curator of the museum, said. "Nonetheless, it is so rewarding to retire that leaf icon tile with the replacement of this quietly compelling portrait."

Of the victims that have been identified, the museum is still missing a photo for Antonio Dorsey Pratt, who reportedly was a cafeteria worker. In a few rare cases, some victims' families requested the oak leaf tile, though most of the museum's portrait gallery is complete.

The NYC Medical Examiner's Office has also continuously worked to identify the remains of victims by using DNA testing and other evidence.

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