Katrina Marino shares the book about her husband, Kenny, a firefighter who died in the World Trade Center, with their kids, Kristin, 4, and Tyler, 2.
- NYP: G.N. Miller
"This is Kenny," a 64-page hard-bound volume of reminiscences about the 40-year-old father of two, was a collaboration between his wife, Katrina, and the American Tribute Center, a nonprofit organization set up to produce free keepsake books for bereaved 9/11 families.
"I was afraid that as time went on, the stories would fade," said Katrina Marino, after receiving a box of books to distribute among family and friends. "I feel safe now that we have it captured in print."
His towheaded children, Kristin, 4, and Tyler, 2, pointed out pictures of their father in the book as their mom leafed through it - and promised to read it to them at bedtime.
The books are the brainchild of Steve Bernstein, a Citigroup executive whose brother Billy, who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald, died in the attacks.
Bernstein has written a privately published book of family anecdotes, which his family members clamored to re-read after his brother's death.
He contacted Kitty Axelson-Berry, who helped organize his book and suggested doing tribute books for the families of 9/11 victims.
The pair founded the American Tribute Center.
There are two more books about to be published, 10 are at the beginning stages, and more than 100 families are waiting to begin the process, according to Bernstein, who also publishes Relix, a music magazine.
"A lot of families didn't have anything to pass on to their kids to remember people individually," said Bernstein. "Tyler's children and grandchildren are going to read this book."
Each title costs about $7,000 to produce, Bernstein said, and is funded through cash donations, discounts on materials and services, and the volunteer labor of professionals who interview families, write and edit copy, and do production work.
Families of 9/11 victims interested in creating tribute books - and donors of time or money - can get details at the group's web site: http://www.tributecenter.org.