9/11 Anniversary Weekend

September 12, 2010 Updated Sep 12, 2010 at 9:58 AM EDT

By WKBW Internet

September 12, 2010 Updated Sep 12, 2010 at 9:58 AM EDT

WILLIAMSVILLE, NY (WKBW) -- It's a day our nation will never forget, September 11th, 2001. Some of the victims had called Western New York their home, including one young man from Williamsville. Leonard M. Castrianno was only 30 years old on that day. "The thought of what happened is never out of my mind," his father, Leonard Castrianno senior, said.

Nearly a decade later his family is still living each day with memories of that horrid morning when the Twin Towers went down and Leonard junior was in the North Tower on the 105th floor. He was one of the thousands to perish that morning. "I can see it as clearly today as I did when I was watching it on TV, on Sept 11th 2001," Castrianno senior said. "That my goodness, my son is in that building. My daughter came over and she said, 'do you think Lenny made it,' and I said no.
I just collapsed, to be frank with you."

To this day Castrianno senior doesn't know exactly what his son's last moments were like, but hears unfathomable stories from those who did get in touch with people on the same floor, in those final moments. "Said that 'please send help, we are standing on the desks, the floors are too hot to stand on, the computers are melting to the desks, the telephones are melting to the desks, there are people injured and hurt and also people committing suicide... jumping out of the windows," Castrianno senior said.

Leonard junior had three siblings including a twin sister. He went to Williamsville East High School and graduated from Buffalo State University. "We have so much memorabilia here in our house that Lenny is never far from our sights or our minds," his father said. "We got that {bear} at Pier 96 where they were handing out bears to family victims."

Outside in the front yard, a flag stands tall in memory of their son and all the 9-11 victims, and to make sure that that day is never forgotten. "Never forget...and I hope these memorials throughout the country continue to go on so that our children and our little children will learn what happened and how we were attacked," Castrianno senior said. "I think Leonard would definitely want that...we teach the kids...how hatred can have people do the things that they do and what they did here."

We did ask Castrianno senior what he thought of the proposed mosque being located two blocks from the World Trade Center site. "My thought is I think it's an in your face type of thing... I don't think it's right."