Today is the Nineth Anniversary of September Eleventh. I hope tht you'll take time from all the hype and all that is going on in your life and stop to think about what it means to you. On this day nine years ago a terrible tradegy happened to America and the world. People that died in those awful attacks that day came from different parts of the world, had different nationalities, and differing world and religious beliefs. Most of the victims that day had not met each other previously, bar the people that worked together or were traveling together that day, but now they were all brought together and share a common event. The world will never be the same.
I hope that we as peoples of the world can be driven to aspire for greatness, to look for ways that we have in common and can relate to each other. I hope that we will build and create great things. I hope that we'll raise our kids to be good and wonderful people that believe that anything is possible. I'm really glad that I discovered Project 2996 because its goal of remembering each victim is something positive and a worthy aspiration, one that I hope will be fullfilled, is certainly a better response than some of the other things we've heard about since September Eleventh.
I hope that you'll join me in remembering and preserving the memory of six of the heros of that day:
Keith Roma was 27 and with Fire Patrol. Last year when deciding who I wanted to write about I was drawn by a picture of him holding a baby. His daughter (Samantha) was seven at the time of his death. I discovered that there had been some controversy about including him in the list of FDNY victims of September 11th list, because the New York Fire Patrol was not officially part of the FDNY. There were witnessed accounts of him saving people that day and he died trying to save 9 people. You can read more about Keith in my tibute from last year.
Christopher Santora was 23 and part of Engine Company 54. He was one of the youngest fire fighter to have died. He had been a substitute teacher and even turned down a permanent job at junior high to follow in his father’s footsteps as a fire fighter. He played “stickball” as it was called in his neighborhood. He wasn’t a Mets or Yankees fan but rooted for the Toronto Blue Jays. You can read more about ChristopherKeith in my tibute from last year.
Joseph P. Henry
Joseph P. Henry was 25 and with Ladder 21 out of Manhattan. Last year when I read the following tibute to him I decided that I wanted to include him the the people that I was honoring...“I was trapped in building one for an hour. I would not be alive if it weren't for the firemen who unlocked and broke down the doors to the stairwells. I want Joseph's family to know that when the time comes and I get married and have a family, I will name my first born boy after him. He was an amazing person and I will forever keep him and his family in my prayers.” Vanessa Sierra, college classmate (from the CNN Tribute to September 11th). Julia Corrales, his girlfriend, wrote that that he had only been a fireman for 11 months before September 11th and that they were going to go to Ireland on their first vacation together on October 19th, 2001. (from the Irish Tribute website). You can read more about Joseph in my tibute from last year.
Karl Henri Joseph
Fire fighter Karl Henri Joseph was 25 and working from Brooklyn. He was an EMT. Karl and his family came to the U.S. from Hati. Lucy Bouciquot, a family friend wrote in a tribute at Legacy "He liked Haiti, but America was his home." Mr. Beehler, a fire fighter that went to the academy with him said "Karl had a way of shrugging off the ribbing. He had a great smile and a great laugh...As far as the job, he was top-notch." (from his Legacy entry). Karl is another shinning example of an immigrant working hard for a better life in America. Tuxedo Cat Grandma wrote a nice tribute 2996: Karl Henri Joseph in 2006 worth checking out.
Dana Hannon, 29 at the time of his death was the first of the group of fire fighters that I came across when preparing for last year's tribute. Before being a professional fire fighter, he was a volunteer that became a Captain before becoming a professional. While a fire fighter in Bridgeport, Connecticut he was awarded a medal of valour for a rescue there. Dana proposed to Allison Dansen from the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge in Australia! They married the folowing fall. "He was the best brother anybody could ask for," said his sister, Kyle. (tribute at Legacy). Danielle at Stupid Trivia wrote A TRIBUTE TO DANA HANNON a nice article that I assume was a Project 2996 tribute in 2006.
David W Laychak
As I wrap up my tribute this year, lets remember the lives of these and other true heros that lost their lives on September Eleventh. To the families and friends of those that lost loved ones, although they're gone they're certainly not, nor they ever be forgotten. The world is a better place for countless ways because all of these 2996 people lived. May their memory live on in spouses, parents, siblings, children, grandchildre, friends, and even in those that never met them.
Photo credit: "Twin Towers III" courtesy of mrgoose.