Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11th--Let Us Remember our Fallen

It's September 11th again. Eleven years ago it happened. We changed. The country changed. The world changed. For the first time in our history our country experienced what countries around the world have lived with constantly. I sometimes think the scar at Ground Zero still hurts and its aftermath has lasted far too long. I do not diminish the grief of all those that lost someone. I do think the rage and misdirected anger from then until now should be resolved for the health of all of us.

Every September 11th I pull out that big book called Portraits 9/11/01. After our terrible attack the New York Times began to publish every day a whole page of pictures of those who lost their lives that day. Beside those photographed we find stories of each one of those pictured.

Gertrude Alegero: "She always had time for a friendly chat with the corner newsdealer and the counterman at the deli..."

David Agnes: An assistant Vice President at Cantor Fitzgerald. After his death they found in his safety deposit box a lock of his daughter's hair..."

 Godwin Ajala: proud of being a lawyer in Nigeria. Because of his hard time there, he immigrated to the US in 1995, hoping to earn far more to support his family."

 Michael L. Bocchino: "He kept a scrapbook of all the fires and all the people he helped rescue in his 22 years as a fireman."

 Janice Brown: "Weekends were a hullabaloo of children, her own and her sistgers'. Monday through Friday she was an accountant at Marsh & McLennan. But on Saturday she was off to the zoo, the skating rink or the moves with her 11 year old son, three nephews and a niece."

 John E. Bulaga Jr.: He and his wife, Michelle, were three days away from closing on their first house, in Haskell, NJ when the World Trade Center was attacked."

 Daniel Coffey and Jason Coffey: "This father and son planned to meet for lunch at the World Trade Center where they both worked for subsidiaries of Marsh &McLennan.  Daniel, 54, needed to have his wedding ring enlarged after 30 years of marriage. His son, Jason, 325 was going to pick out a surprise engagement ring for his fiance, Coleen  McDonald when the towers were hit."

 Harry Glenn: "He was the pride of five boys, the son who said he was going to college and learn all about computers, and then went and did it...A lot of people didn't believe he could come out of Harlem and do as well as he did..."

 Matthew Horning: "At an office Christmas party in 1999, he told a colleague he had two goals: improving at guitar and finding someone to love. In January he started taking guitar lessons. In August he met Maura Landry...they were not engaged but the couple was planning a life together." 

Michael Judge: Was a Franciscan father and chaplain  to the NY Fire Department and could be found joking or comforting firefighters or driving hellbent to emergencies. He loved being a priest and wore his friar's robes to soup kitchens, to Gracie Mansion, the White House and to  countless baptisms and funerals."

Ann Nelson: Was a small-town girl with her sights set on the world. She grew up in Stanley, ND but traveled to China, studied in England and hiked on her own around Peru. She often said, 'Life's purpose is not to find a fun party but to make one.'"

 John Resta and Sylvia San Pio Resta: "This husband and wife both worked as traders for Carr Futures. They were married in the summer of 2000 and she was 7 months pregnant on September 11th."

Jeffrey Schreier: "He pushed a mail cart that morning from the Church Street post office. He had to get to the Cantor Fitzgerald mail room soon. He was a happy man...married to Phyllis and they lived a simple life in her apartment in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn." 

Paul Tegtmeier: After waiting 20 years Paul became a New York firefighter at age 40 in 2000. He was the father of two and was on his way to Ladder Company 46 when the first plane hit. He turned around and headed to the World Trade Center to join his colleagues."

 Khamladai  Singh and his sister Roshan: "He was assistant banquet manager at Windows on the World and she helped. That morning they were busy preparing for 600 guests when the plane hit."

These are only a few of the 1,910 stories that were published week after week in the NY Times. I wish I had time to list them all. All totaled: 3,497 people died in the World Trade Center, Pentagon and Pennsylvania.

1609 lost spouses that day.
3,051 children lost parents that day.
327 foreign nationals were killed that day.
"Into paradise may the angels lead them: at their coming may the martyrs take them up into eternal rest, and may the chorus of angels lead them to that holy city, and the place of perpetual light." --Roman Catholic Prayer for the Dead  


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