17 years later - Brother carries Nicole Miller's legacy, victim aboard Flight #93
CHICO, Calif. —
" I know there's a deep loss, even to this day."
Josh Tenorio was 22 and living in Modesto when on September 11, 2001, he received a telephone call from his mother and stepfather, Catherine and David Miller, who were living in Chico.
They informed Tenorio that his sister, Nicole Miller, may have been aboard United Airlines Flight 93 when it was hijacked by terrorists and ultimately crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
"They weren't sure if Nicole was on the flight or not, because she was supposed to fly out the day before," said Tenorio. "She got bumped to the next day because of bad weather."
It turned out that Nicole was indeed one of the 40 passengers and crew members who perished after passengers tried to thwart the attack by charging the cock pit.
"She was a bundle of joy," said Tenorio. "She was athletic, on the swim team and really good at softball."
Shortly after 9/11, Catherine and David Miller commissioned a bench in Bidwell Park, across the bridge at Vallombrosa and Madrone avenues in memory of their daughter.
Seventeen years later, Nicole Miller is still remembered as flowers and a prayer book were seen at the bench on the 17th anniversary of 9/11.
Neither of Nicole's parents are alive. Catherine Miller passed away in February, following David, whose death preceded hers.
The two were active in keeping Nicole's memory alive by, for example, attending and speaking at 9/11 memorials, most notably at the dedication of a 9/11 memorial at Fire Station 5 in Chico in 2014.
Tenorio now lives in the Chico home his parents built, and says the torch passed to him to remember not only his sister, but everyone lost on that day.
"Even today people are caught off guard because I'd be the first person they'd ever met to have a connection to the event," said Tenorio. "And now, 17 years ago, there's going to be a lot of kids growing up that never even remember the event and weren't even a part of it."