A Wonderful Dad And Daughter

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, former President Bill Clinton shakes hands with Yang Hyong Sop, vice president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), in Pyongyang, capital of North Korea, Aug. 4, 2009. AP Photo/Xinhua

For most of us at CBS News, 9/11 was the biggest story of our lives, but for 23-year-old Melissa Valcarcel, the youngest member of the CBS Evening News staff, it was a day that changed her family's lives forever.

Wheelchair bound all his life because of polio, her father, Bill worked in the South Tower of the World Trade Center. When the first plane hit she was terrified until she called her Mother.

"She said I know, I know, I just spoke to your father and he's fine it's not his building. He's ok," Melissa said.

Euphoric that he was safe, Melissa returned to her work in the newsroom only to look up at one of the TV monitors a few minutes later as the second plane hit his building.

"I knew that was my dad's building and I just stood there and said my dad is in there. That's his building," she said.

She spent long hours at Ground Zero during the survivor search but her Father died trying to help others to safety. She was determined he not be forgotten, and yesterday, because of her letter writing campaign and the work of City Councilman Oliver Koppell, the street where the family has lived for 24 years in the Bronx was renamed William Valcarcel Place.

"Today is a celebration of his life, today is a celebration of who we all know, its who he is and continues to be and who we all remember," Melissa proclaimed.

Bill Valcarcel was an American hero, but he was remembered by Melissa yesterday as a wonderful father, a father who will not be forgotten because he had a wonderful daughter.

  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

Comments