Widow, daughters of man killed in 9/11 revenge attack now citizens
The widow and daughters of a Pakistani immigrant killed by a white supremacist in a 9/11 revenge attack became U.S. citizens Friday in a touching ceremony that one daughter described as the fulfillment of their father’s dream.
“Obviously, he’s in our thoughts every day, but especially today,” Usna Hasan said about her father, Waqar Hasan. He was fatally shot at a Dallas convenience store four days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. “It was his dream come true today; it was his dream that became our dream, and it’s an … accomplishment.”
Durree Hasan and three of her daughters took the oath in a ceremony at the New Jersey office of U.S. Rep. Rush Holt. A fourth daughter became a citizen last week in New York City.
The Hasan family had good reason to want to leave America. Waqar Hasan was fatally shot on Sept. 15, 2001, as he grilled hamburgers in the store he had opened that year. Mark Anthony Stroman, a white supremacist, admitted killing the 46-year-old, thinking he was an Arab, as part of a series of revenge attacks for 9/11.
Durree Hasan and her daughters — Nida, Usna, Anum and Iqra — faced the threat of deportation as a result.
The family, who emigrated legally, had been living in Milltown, in central New Jersey, when Hasan moved to Dallas in 2001 to search for a home and open a convenience store in hopes of eventually relocating the entire family. He had applied for a green card, but the application became invalid when he died.
But instead of wanting to leave, the family embraced their new home — and their New Jersey community embraced them in return. Durree Hasan said neighbors brought food, called, wrote letters and attended a candlelight vigil in the rain in the days after her husband was killed.
“It never occurred to us we’d have to leave,” Durree Hasan said. “It’s home life to us, especially New Jersey and Milltown. We never thought to leave, even to another town. It’s a very small town, but like a big family, very supportive.”