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A sister remembers Andrew Zucker

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

A sister remembers

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 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," Shames said.

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.

"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 to Erica, who has since remarried, 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 the bombing there. 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.

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

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