Family of Hamburg native carries on legacy of 9-11 victim through a new generation

Remembering 9/11

BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) — Every year since 2001, some members of the Walier family assemble at the 9-11 memorial in New York City to remember their sister Margaret Walier Seeliger who died in Tower Two after insisting her co-workers get on the elevator first.

This year, her brother Peter Walier has chosen to remember more privately at home.

“We remember her in celebration, not as she died. I lost my sister. The reason why is not something that I choose to dwell on,” said the brother of the victim. “I kind of focus on remembering her for who she was, in the fun and everything that went with Margaret.”

Margaret graduated from Frontier High school Class of ’85. She was one of nine Walier kids who grew up here in Hamburg.

“She was really someone that showed up for her family in every way,” said Lauren Walier, Peter’s daughter, who was only three years old when her aunt died. “She definitely encouraged my love of reading. She got me the book, Eloise at the Plaza. She wanted me to come to New York, go see the Nutcracker ballet, but then unfortunately she passed. So, when I turned 18, I started ballroom dancing out of New York. We went to the Plaza. I eventually went to the ballet and we did all those things in her honor in a very positive way.”

Peter even named his other daughter Margaret. She’s now 13, and although she didn’t want to be interviewed, she carries on the legacy of the aunt she never knew, according to her father.

“Obviously, we didn’t know at the time but I guess, as fate has it, she IS my sister,” said Peter Walier. “I mean she has the same personality, very similar traits. Not just intelligence but sort of that wit and she, it’s a bit uncanny, to be honest with you.”

They are the next generation of a family with a much closer connection than just the history of 9-11.

“I think that she was just a prime example of how to live life to the fullest and I can’t wait to get there,” said Lauren Walier. “Because as we found out, like tomorrow’s not promised.”

George Richert is an award-winning reporter who first joined the News 4 team in 1998, later returning in 2018. See more of his work here.

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