At 13, Jordan Haerter made a trip from Sag Harbor to New York City to visit his aunt with his cousin Jessica Haerter of Eas Northport. They did some sightseeing. His Tante Ruth snapped photos of the two middle school students in front of the Twin Towers. They are date-stamped Aug. 29, 2001.
Four years later, Jordan told his parents JoAnn Lyles and Christian Haerter in a 's guidance office that he wanted to join the Marines. They didn't exactly see his choice coming.
"He did join because of 9/11," Lyles said. "I think he kept it in, how much it affected him."
Preparation for bootcamp transformed the boy with some baby fat grinning for the camera in front of the World Trade Center to a slim young man making a brave choice to serve.
Just three weeks after being sent to Iraq, Lance Cpl. Jordan C. Haerter died on April 22, 2008. At 19, he died a hero, killing a suicide bomber entering a base in Ramadi and saving 33 fellow marines and Iraqi police.
Lyles' hope for the 10th anniversary: "I want it to be a day of remembrance," for those who died on 9/11 and those who have died fighting for this country since.