THE mother of a young woman killed in the September 11 attacks has paid tribute to her daughter 10 years on.
Maggy Owen’s 30-year-old daughter Melanie de Vere died after the first plane crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Centre in 2001.
The former Oaklands School pupil had been at a breakfast meeting in the Windows of the World restaurant on the 106th floor – just seven floors above where the plane hit.
As the world prepares to remember the 2,752 victims of the terrorist atrocity on Sunday, Maggy also recalls that day.
She said: ‘She has been dead for 10 years but to me it feels like 10 minutes.’
Maggy, 63, of Anchorage Park, Portsmouth, said she hopes her daughter died of carbon monoxide poisoning, rather than any of the alternatives.
‘I can’t think she could have been killed by the fire because it was burning hotter than a crematorium. It melted the building.
‘She was terrified of the dark when she was a little girl and always kept the landing light on.
‘I hate to think she would have been in the dark.’
Melanie, 30, who had just got a promotion to events manager for magazine publisher Risk Waters, was on only her second day in New York when bin Laden’s hijackers struck.
Her company has also paid tribute to her.
In a statement the firm said: ‘For the people closest to her, and even for those who only knew her from seeing her around the office, the lasting impression of Mel must be her constant smile.
‘She always seemed to find the positive side to every situation and had a warmth of character and enthusiasm for life that could not be matched.
‘She not only led her Waters Training team with an admirable maturity but also always ensured that her friends and colleagues would be with her for the first round of drinks on a Friday evening.
‘The memory of Mel and her glowing smile will remain with us always.’
‘We will never forget’
PORTSMOUTH mayor Cheryl Buggy has sent a letter to the Mayor of New York telling him: We will never forget.
Cllr Buggy said it was important to show solidarity.
She added: ‘It’s still as dreadful now as it ever was. Everyone can remember where they were and what they were doing when it happened, because it was that bad.
‘Sending a letter on behalf of the city is about solidarity and letting them know that it’s not forgotten.’
The Union Flags flying at the Guildhall and outside the civic offices in Guildhall Square will be flown at half-mast from 11am on Sunday. Portsmouth’s Anglican and Catholic cathedrals will be saying prayers of remembrance for the victims.