Long Island remembers

Andrew Steven Zucker

  • Age: 27
  • Employer: Harris Beach Llp
  • Place of death: Tower Two
  • Community: North Massapequa
  • County: Nassau

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About Andrew Zucker

Andrew Zucker, 27, of Riverdale, was on the 85th floor of Tower Two on Sept, 11, 2001, at Harris Beach LLP, the law firm he'd joined just five weeks earlier.

Andrew Zucker had been a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of North Massapequa, and used his firefighter instincts after the first plane struck to help his colleagues flee despite official instructions bade them to stay put.

Twelve of them made it out alive, and five did not, said his sister Cheryl Shames, of Plainview.

His law firm hired an investigator to determine why some got out and others didn't. "Seven of them said they got out because of Andrew," said Shames.

At the time of Zucker's death, his wife Erica was pregnant with their son, Jason Andrew Zucker, now 9. They hadn't yet told their families about the pregnancy.

"I'm sure he was ecstatic ... (about the pregnancy)," Shames said. His son "looks just like my brother, and he's got the stubbornness quality of my brother. You look at him and you think you're looking at my brother, not as a 9-year-old but as an adult."

Shames said she and her two surviving siblings have remained close with Erica, who has since remarried and had another child, and has two stepchildren.

The family has endured more than its share of loss. Fifteen months after Sept. 11, Zucker's nephew, Jeffrey Mosenson, 20 - who became a firefighter because of his uncle's influence - died in a car accident. Zucker's parents, Sue and Saul Zucker, have also since died.

"We've really been through a lot," said Shames, who said it helps her to speak about her brother. She ran with the Olympic torch in Salt Lake City in Zucker's name, and has twice traveled to Oklahoma City for the anniversary of that bombing. She said she feels a kinship with those victims as well as those lost on Sept. 11.

Zucker, a graduate of Binghamton University and Cardozo Law School, had contemplated moving to Israel but ultimately decided to become a lawyer in the United States instead.

"He took great pride in being Jewish," she said. "He was a wonderful, spiritual, great guy who is missed tremendously." - Melanie Lefkowitz

This profile was originally published in 2001/2002

In the spring, a week before Passover, tragedy struck Andrew Zucker's life when his wife, Erica, miscarried two weeks before the due date of their daughter.

By August, Zucker, a 27-year-old lawyer who grew up in North Massapequa, was finally recovering from the loss of his first child and had started a new job on the 85th floor of Tower Two in the World Trade Center.

Last week, as Rosh Hashanah approached, Zucker's family prepared for another loss, as their pleas for information have gone unanswered.

Family members have been gathering at his brother Stuart Zucker's Woodbury home and finding themselves in an odd state that one family member called \"pre-mourning.\"

Without a body, they cannot begin the traditional seven-day Jewish mourning period known as shiva. Yet chances of finding Zucker are slim. \"I think we all know the truth at this point,\" Stuart Zucker said.

After the first hijacked airliner struck Tower One about 8:45 a.m., Andrew Zucker and his co-workers began fleeing Tower Two. Erica Zucker reached him by cell phone about 8:55 a.m., and he said he was in a stairwell, his brother said. Co-workers at Harris Beach LLP told Zucker's family that Andrew was organizing the evacuation. One recalled seeing him on the 78th floor before the second jet crashed. \"I'm convinced he was right near the impact,\" said Stuart Zucker.

Andrew Zucker's family - his wife, parents, Sue and Saul Zucker of North Massapequa, older brother Stuart and older sisters Gayle Mosenson of Woodbury and Cheryl Shames of North Massapequa - are fielding calls from hundreds of friends - from Plainedge High School in North Massapequa, where he graduated in 1991, to the Bronx district attorney's office, where he worked for a year.

\"Anybody that ever met Andrew never forgot him,\" Stuart Zucker said. \"He was loud and outgoing. He got on everyone's nerves four times a day, but did something five times a day to make up for it.\" -- By Ann L. Kim

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