New York, Sept.10 : When Dr. Sneha Philip's name is read out on Thursday at Ground Zero, her heartbroken family's long fight for justice and to redeem her besmirched reputation will be achieved.
Sneha Anne Philip, 32, 2001) was an Indian American physician who was last seen on September 10, 2001 by a department store surveillance camera near her Lower Manhattan apartment.
She may have returned to the building at some point that night or the next morning. Due to the proximity of the World Trade Center and her medical training, her family believes she perished trying to help victims of the next day's terrorist attack.
According to the New York Daily News, Philip will be included in the somber recitation of victims killed during the 9/11 attacks, four years after being scratched off the list in a debate over whether she died or just disappeared.
"There is closure," said Philip's brother, John, 33. "She's being respected."
John Philip said he will be at Ground Zero Thursday to hear his sister's name echo across the hollowed ground where he insists she died helping others on that dreadful day.
"There is a place to go to honor her," he said, explaining that his family did not attend the ceremony last year because of the bitter court battle to get her back on the list.
Sneha Philip was removed from the roll in 2004 when a court ruled it was impossible to know if she was killed in the terror attacks.
A third-year resident at St. Vincent's Hospital Staten Island (now Richmond University Medical Center), Philip was last seen September 10, 2001, buying bed linens at Century 21 near the World Trade Center.
Her family believes the married doctor stayed out that night and was killed trying to save others at the World Trade Center as she returned to her Battery Park City apartment the next morning.
Philips remains were never found and a court-appointed guardian's report added insult to her family's pain by portraying her as a substance abuser with loose morals.
In February, the state appeals court ruled the attacks against Philip's reputation were merely hearsay that proved to be "unreliable and not confirmed by the evidence."
Attending a remembrance conference Wednesday near Ground Zero, Philip's mother, Ansu Philip, 61, proudly exclaimed, "I always believed she died here."
"She was a hero and a victim, why shouldn't her name be called?" said Ansu Philip of Hopewell Junction in Dutchess County.
She said her daughter's widower, Ronald Lieberman, has fought with the family to clear Philip's name.
"He's still single and still hurting," Ansu Philip's said of Lieberman, who now lives in California and returns to New York every October 7 to honor his late wife's birthday.
Ansu Philip said she will remain at home Thursday, praying for her daughter and the other victims. But one day she hopes to play a role in the annual ceremony at Ground Zero.