New York Times Portraits of Grief
The first 10 days of September were giddy ones for Alona Abraham, who was in Boston on her first trip to the United States. She went whale-watching, shopping and walking in Cambridge, said Dror Veisman, a college friend with whom she stayed. "She said, `Oh, Mommy, I'm having a great time,' " said Miriam Abraham, her mother, who lives in Ashdod, Israel. "She was laughing and talking about going on picnics and sightseeing with her friends."
Ms. Abraham, 30 -- the eldest of three children and daughter of Israeli immigrants from Bombay -- worked long hours at Applied Materials , where she was an industrial engineer. So she took her vacations seriously, spending weeks in Paris and Amsterdam and going on African safaris. Independent and religious, she often traveled alone and kept kosher wherever she happened to be.
Seeing America was one of her dreams. She liked the cool weather, the low prices, the cosmopolitan cities. And for a few weeks, she could escape the bombings and shootings at home in Israel. She planned to return again and again. She was on United Airlines Flight 175, which struck the south tower on Sept. 11.