‘He was my best friend’: Metro Detroit native remembers brother who was killed in Sept. 11 terrorist attacks

Siblings grew up in Metro Detroit before moving to Manhattan

20 years later: honoring Metro Detroiters lost in terror attacks

Saturday marks 20 years since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Nearly 3,000 people were killed that day in New York, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania

A Metro Detroit family is honoring the legacy of their loved one who died in the attacks. Helen Rosenthal had dinner the night before the attacks with her brother Josh Rosenthal, 44, to celebrate the start of fall.

Read: 9/11 Memorial & Museum to host touching commemoration on 20th anniversary of attacks

“We had spent, I think the weekend before and then the night before we had dinner,” Rosenthal said. “He was my best friend.”

The siblings grew up in Metro Detroit and eventually moved to Manhattan.

“We had each other in New York City. Michiganders coming to the big city. And we really helped each other forge our own paths,” Rosenthal said. “He was beloved by anyone he met.”

On the Tuesday of the attacks, Josh was last seen running back to his office on the 94th floor of the south tower.

Local 4 first sat down with Josh’s mother, Marilynn Rosenthal, two years after the Sept. 11 attacks and again on the five-year anniversary. At the time, Marilynn Rosenthal was a grieving mother who was searching for answers.

Her search for answers took her to the middle east. She met with Marwan al-Shehhi’s extended family. Marwan al-Shehhi hijacked the plane that crashed into the south tower.

Marilynn Rosenthal made notes about her research and created an outline for a book, but died of cancer in August before she had a chance to put anything in print. Helen Rosenthal hopes to carry on her mother’s dream of seeing her book published.

Josh Rosenthal graduated from the University of Michigan. There’s an education fund lecture named in his honor at the Ford School of Public Policy.

Read: More Sept. 11 attacks 20 years later coverage


About the Authors:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.