This story first appeared on NBC-5 .
Story on Christina Rancke
Susy Solis, NBC-5, Sept 7 2011
A student at Southern Methodist University is honoring her father and the thousands of other victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Christina Rancke is coordinating events to remember the victims of the attacks. She and several volunteers planted an American flag to honor her father and the other 2,976 victims.
At just 11 years old, the world Rancke knew changed forever.
She had been to the World Trade Center with father on numerous occasions. She said she loved going to work with him on Take Your Daughter to Work Day.
But her fond memories turned bittersweet in an instant.
"Probably the most vivid memory for me was when I was called out of gym class," she said. "I'd been told there was an accident at the World Trade Center, and I just remember coming home to my friends and family and watching images of the towers helplessly before my eyes."
It took months to identify Rancke's father. During that time she always kept hope that her father would come home alive.
"I just remember feeling helpless and angry that there was nothing I could do," she said. "You know, I never got to say goodbye. I never go to give him a hug goodbye."
She said that telling her story has helped her get through the ordeal.
Rancke, now a junior at SMU, said her father would be proud of the work she is doing. She said she may never fully heal, but the memory of her father keeps her going.
"Every day I think about him," she said. "What stuck with me were his values, how much he valued family, and he was such a hard worker."