World Trade Center Bombing Resonates 20 Years Later

PHOTO: This undated handout photo of Edward Smith and Monica Rodriguez Smith on their wedding day; Monica was one of the six victims who lost their lives when a truck bomb detonated in below the North Tower of the World Trade Center on Feb. 26, 1993.
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Edward Smith remembers vividly the call from the morgue 20 years ago today, that his pregnant wife had died in the World Trade Center bombing hours before she was supposed to start her maternity leave.

"It seems like kind of yesterday sometimes," he told ABC News, "but it seems like a long time ago, too."

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the 1993 WTC bombing, which was overshadowed eight years later by the 9/11 attacks. Six people died and about 1,000 were injured after terrorists detonated a truck bomb in the parking garage of the World Trade Center's North Tower Feb. 26, 1993.

Four of the six killed -- Robert Kirkpatrick, 61, Stephen A. Knapp, 47, William Macko, 57, and Monica Rodriguez Smith, 35 -- were employees of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owned the buildings. John DiGiovanni, 45, a dental-supply salesman visiting the World Trade Center, and Wilfredo Mercado, 37, a purchasing agent for Windows on the World restaurant, also died.

To commemorate the event, ABC News spoke with several people affected by the bombing -- a widower, a former Port Authority executive director, a plaintiff's attorney and a jury foreman -- to illustrate how the bombing resonates 20 years later.

EDWARD SMITH: Husband of pregnant Monica Rodriguez Smith, who died in the bombing.


Edward and Monica Rodriguez Smith on their wedding day, Aug. 31, 1990.

Edward Smith, 50, remembers where he was Feb. 26, 1993, when he heard the news.

"I was up in Boston, and I had heard there was a fire at the [World] Trade Center," Smith told ABCNews.com last week. "I turned the TV on, and eventually heard there was an actual bombing, and drove down as quickly as I could."

Smith said he couldn't reach his wife, Monica Rodriguez Smith, a secretary for a mechanical supervisor for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey who worked in the World Trade Center, for "hours and hours."

He said he didn't hear from her or anything about her until he contacted the New York City morgue at 11:30 p.m. that evening.

"Obviously, I was informed that I should come there," Smith said.

He and his wife had been married for a little more than three years, he said, and Feb. 26 was to be Monica's last day of work before she went on maternity leave. They were expecting their first child, a boy, to be named Eddie.

"She had worked at the Port Authority for at least 12 years," Smith said. "And she had just gotten an award for never having a sick day. That was a little thing you remember."

Smith said the World Trade Center was where he met his wife the first time.

"I was a sales guy, selling to the Port Authority, and she was the admin [secretary] for one of the guys," he said. "For the first two years, she wouldn't go out with me.

"She said, 'Do you know how many knuckleheads come in here and ask me out? What makes you different?'" Smith recalled Monica's saying.

It took her two years to go out on a date with him, Smith said.

The couple tied the knot Aug. 31, 1990. Smith said he even bought the house in which he grew up on Long Island to raise their family.

But after the events of Feb. 26, 1993, Smith said, it was hard to stay in New York. Shortly after the bombing, he moved to Arizona and later to California.

"There were too many reminders, it was too much," he said.

Smith now resides in Phoenix, but makes a trip to New York every year for the memorial in February. This year is no exception.

"It's kind of an interesting feeling," he said of the 20-year anniversary. "It seems like kind of yesterday sometimes, but it seems like a long time ago, too."

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