WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) – 15 years later, the 9/11 flag still stands tall outside the home Leonard Castrianno grew up in.
He would have been 45 this year. His father, Leonard Castrianno senior says he remembers watching the towers fall on TV.
He said, “Knowing his time schedule, I had a feeling he was on one of the elevators when the plane hit. That’s why we don’t have any remains of Leonard. We don’t have a thing.”
Its something that still haunts Castrianno, only having material items left of his son.
For Nancy Castrianno she still misses her step son every day. She had to be tough for her husband, who now turns to his garden as a way to grieve. She said, “He must think of Lenny a lot when hes out here. This isn’t my work, it’s his.”
That day, Lenny was number 215 on the missing persons list. His friends filed the report within hours after the towers fell, His dad says that’s a sign of how much he was loved.
He said, “If you needed a problem solved, or you needed a shoulder to cry on, or if you had a problem, Lenny was always there.” The community support from neighbors went on for weeks after they lost Lenny.
Nancy Castrianno said, “Friends and neighbors, they held us up.”
Today, they both think about where Lenny would be today. Castrianno says he knows they would be friends, not just father and son.
He said, “I’ll never forget, and I kinda feel bad that Lenny is not here to enjoy the relationship we could have had as friends. That hurts me.”
Castrianno can now smile and even laugh at memories of Lenny. He remembers the last time he said “I love you” on Labor Day before 9/11. He said, “You think of him, and you say, “I love you Leonard, and may you be in the happiest place in the world.” And the years they get easier for this family, but on September 11th every year, what happened is as clear as it was 15 years ago. Castrianno said, “But then when this time comes, then you relive everything. You relive all the things you saw, you relive all the things you can remember, and they’re as sharp in my head today as they were the first day I saw them.”
There is now a scholarship fund in Leonard Castrianno’s name.