9/11 hero’s daughter who tragically died from choking on pancakes has been laid to rest

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Family members gathered Friday at the funeral of Caitlin Nelson, the daughter of a 9/11 hero, who passed away last week following a freak accident. Nelson was participating in a pancake eating contest for a college charity event and died of asphyxia.

“Someone once told me that it is not the number of years you live, but what you do with the years you are alive,” her sister Anne Vetri said in a touching eulogy. “Caitlin, you touched more lives in this short time on earth than most people do in a lifetime.”

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She explained that her sister’s legacy will live on through the donation of her organs.

“Somewhere locally, a young girl received your kidney today, and a family wept tears of joy at a lung transplant as a result of your generous (gift),” she said. “Just like daddy’s legacy was sacrificing to help others, you saw life as an opportunity to assist those in need.”


The girls’ father, James, was tragically killed on Sept. 11, 2001, while attempting to rescue workers trapped on the 27th floor of the World Trade Center.

Nelson’s funeral also included a reading of a poem entitled “We Remember Her” and a photo montage that featured photographs from various stages of the young woman’s life.

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