Stories of Hope: Asia’s New Wings

9/11 Memorial & Museum / By 911 Memorial Staff

Excerpt from article:

Nyantee Asherman, senior interpretive guide at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, finds inspiration in the way Cottom’s family remembers Asia Cottom and thinks there are lessons to be learned from how Cottom approached life. “In Asia’s spirit, I see a lesson to cherish those around us and to make use of every moment that we have by appreciating, loving, showing compassion, gaining perspective, and looking outside of ourselves—always exploring and pursuing our curiosity just as Asia did,” says Asherman.

Though it was hard for the Cottom family, they eventually channeled their loss into the people around them, especially the next generation. They established a scholarship program to help children excited about education and science, like their own daughter. And Cottom’s father, Clifton, began to coach and mentor other school-aged girls from the community who he also treated like daughters.

Reflecting further on Asia Cottom’s life and her family’s response to her death, Asherman is encouraged to draw positivity from tragedy. She says, “Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, so many of the lessons of 9/11 have become relevant again. I hope that, like the family of Asia Cottom, we can harness our grief and our pain to propel us toward compassion for, and generosity toward other people.”

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911memorial Stories of Hope: Asia’s New Wings – Watch Asherman, senior interpretive guide at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum video

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