Today is the 20th anniversary of the tragic attacks of 9/11, and people all over the United States are honoring those who lost their lives and honoring the families that lost loved ones and friends in the attacks. WWE's Zelina Vega (real name Thea Trinidad) lost her father Michael Angel Trinidad in the attack on the World Trade Center, and at the time Thea was 10 years old. During today's ceremony, she read her father's name and honored him with a sweet tribute, and you can watch the tribute in the post below (via B/R Wrestling). Our thoughts go out to Thea and her family and friends and all those who lost loved ones on 9/11.
Trinidad said "And my father, Michael Angel Trinidad. We love you, we miss you. There's so many events I wish you were a part of like my wedding or Timmy making you a grandfather. We hope that you're proud of us, and please look after me and the rest. of the family."
Zelina Vega honors her father, who was killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11, on the 20th anniversary of the attacks 🙏pic.twitter.com/k0bwkNRezt— B/R Wrestling (@BRWrestling) September 11, 2021
In an interview with Yahoo! Sports, Trinidad talked about taking part in the reading of the names of those lost to the attacks, an annual tradition on 9/11 that she also did once before when she was 13.
"I feel a sense of honor, a sense of pride," Trinidad said. "Obviously, we have the choice if we want to read names or not and I felt like this was the appropriate year to do it. I did it once before, when I was 13 years old, and it was a very big responsibility for someone so young. I also felt like I had a duty to represent my father. I feel the same thing for the 20th anniversary."
Trinidad also spoke about going to Camp Haze, which was a camp to help children who lost parents during the terror attacks. She says that helped her during the grieving process, and she would go on to become a counselor as well.
"You feel like no one understands and the world is a scary place at that time, but with them I got to work with other people and kids who understood me and were there for me," Trinidad said. " To this day I still talk to people there, the counselors, the kids - who are now grown up - it's like we built a family out of it. What's special is that we all remember the time when everyone came together. There was a time where everyone just took each other's hands - it didn't matter what class you were in or where you were from, what language you spoke - I really miss that."
Her father's favorite wrestler was Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and Trinidad would eventually become good friends with Johnson's daughter Simone and even portray A.J. Lee in Fighting With My Family, which was produced by Johnson's Seven Bucks Production company and even featured Johnson in a cameo role. That friendship paved the way for a moment Trinidad will never forget.
"To kind of come full circle and have his favorite wrestler know his name, that's the biggest honor I could have given him," Trinidad said. "I want to say three years ago, [Dwayne and Simone] FaceTimed me randomly one day and said 'Guess where we're at?' and they were standing next to my dad's name at the 9/11 memorial site. They took a picture next to his name. I probably cried more than I have in my life that day, but it was really amazing. It's cool that wrestling got to give me those experiences"