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September 11 Memorial: Remembering the victims who died at the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania

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John P. Sammartino

Age: 37

Hometown: Annandale, Va., USA

Occupation: Technical manager, XonTech Inc.

Location: Passenger, American Flight 77, Pentagon


John Sammartino, 37, an engineer at XonTech Inc. in Rosslyn, left his Annandale home just after dawn Tuesday for Dulles International Airport. With a colleague, he boarded American Airlines Flight 77 to attend a conference in Los Angeles.

By Tuesday night, his wife, Deborah Rooney, and other family members were getting ready to tell 4-year-old Nicole Sammartino that her father was dead.

"We're not holding up well," said Sammartino's sister, Valerie Personick, an economist at the U.S. Treasury Department. "We're not holding up well, but we're fair."

The last time the relatives had gathered, it was a far happier occasion. Over the Labor Day weekend, John Sammartino showed them the window frames and cabinets he had carved with his 83-year-old father, Frank, and was installing in the family's home. "It was terrific," Personick said.

Woodworking was a hobby Sammartino had cultivated since moving to the neighborhood five years ago, Personick said. He was born in New York and came to Washington in the 1980s to study at George Washington University, then earned a master's degree at Johns Hopkins University.

Out of college, Sammartino was hired as an engineer at the Naval Research Lab; he had worked 11 years at XonTech, a research and development firm involved in defense issues. His father and mother, Ann, live in the Mount Vernon area of Fairfax County.

-- Steven Gray

Source: The Washington Post, AP and

The profiles in this feature were written in the months following Sept. 11, 2001.

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A day after the 9/11 attacks a makeshift memorial was created on the Arlington Memorial Cemetery fence. Seven years later, the first 9/11 memorial is opening.

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Victims Remembered in Maryland

One Family's Loss

Stepping Through the Ashes

Pentagon Under Attack

Five Year Anniversary Coverage

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