She fingers a gold heart that hangs around her neck as she talks about her brother and how he died more than four years ago.
Then she tells you that the necklace holds some of his ashes -- a little bit of Michael that is always with her.
"Just something you can hold on to," says Katelyn Pursel of Roy, her voice breaking.
The 19-year-old's brother, Michael Pursel, died May 6, 2007, fighting in Iraq nearly seven years after Sept. 11 ushered in the war on terror.
Katelyn Pursel was only 10 years old on Sept. 11: "I remember seeing the picture (of the World Trade Center) but I didn't know what it was."
Michael Pursel joined the Army in 2005, the summer before his senior year. Serving in the military was all he ever wanted to do, says his younger sister, who used to "play Army" with him when they were kids.
Her brother was a "goofball" who loved basketball and working on his car. He was a happy guy who "didn't take anything too seriously," Pursel says.
Now, she's older than Michael was when he was killed in action at 19, she says, and "that's so weird."
On Michael's birthday, every April 14, the family goes out to eat together at a restaurant he liked, then, "We'll write down messages on balloons and let them go."
When it comes to observing 9/11, Pursel says, "Most of us stick to ourselves on that day." The college student often listens to music on the anniversary, thinking of Michael with songs like "Have You Forgotten?"