Marilyn was a good friend to me. One day after school, she took me to her house on Springfield Ave. to show me the statue of "Our Lady Of The Angels" shrine they built in her back yard. I will always remember her. Rest in peace my little Friend.
-- (Joyce Peneschi, Friend - October 2015)
I did not know Marilyn but I was married to her first cousin, John, for over 30 years. Her father visited with us in our home in the late 90's. I believe her mother passed away many many years ago. I have reread the book this past week and am still, as anyone would be, overwhelmed by all of the feelings I have by the horrible tragedy. I studied her picture from the newspaper and am amazed at how baby like her face was. She did not look like a fifth grader.
I remember going to school the next day (I was in the fourth grade at Visitation Grammar School, Chicago, Illinois) I remember exactly where I was sitting, and briefly discussing the fire with our teacher, Sister Genevieve. Never would I have thought how I would feel this special connection with those children. But even back then I remember wanting an answer. Things like that should not happen. I still want an answer. How did this happen? My condolences to all of the victims and to those who feel guilt or who do not feel that they did enough, please know that all of the second guessing in this world, will not change things. You did your best, and as a fourth grader who was scared several miles away in another Catholic grammar school, I thank you very much.
-- (M. Reeb, Cousin - October 2015)