(NEW YORK) — Elizabeth Stringer Keefe has been on a 13-year mission to return a wedding photo found in the rubble at Ground Zero days after the 9/11 attacks. And she’s finally found them.
“Every year on #911 I post this photo hoping 2 return 2 owner. Found at #groundzero #WTC in 2001. Pls RT,” the Cambridge, Massachusetts, woman tweeted Thursday.
Fred Mahe, a groomsmen in the photo, contacted Stringer Keefe on Friday after a coworker sent him a story about the photo.
Mahe identified the couple as Christine and Christian Loretto, college friends of his who were married in Aspen, Colorado. He said they now live in California.
Before Stringer Keefe connected with Mahe, the photo started gaining major traction on social media this year, getting retweeted more than 35,000 times and “favorited“ more than 12,000 times.
Stringer Keefe came to inherit the photo from a friend she was visiting in New York City in October 2001, a month after the attacks.
“I visited New York City, the World Trade Center site and my friend Jennie, who lived in New York City at the time of attacks,” she recalled. “She found the photo at Ground Zero in the days after the attacks, but was leaving New York City for a permanent move to California.”
With an impending cross-country move, Jennie wanted to ensure the photo was kept in good hands and knew Stringer Keefe was “persistent” enough to try to track down the photo’s original home.
“She gave it to me with the request that I do something meaningful with it,” Stringer Keefe recalled. “There’s so much beauty and happiness in the photo, and whatever relationship it had to 9/11, I wanted to care for it until I could return it to its owner.”
As of now, there’s no concrete plan for when Stringer Keefe will return the photo to Mahe.
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