GA on 9-11

Tomorrow on the 10th anniversary of 9-11,  I'll be publishing an essay from my friend, K.L. Mallow.   I've also offered a few others to contribute something if they wish.

I will open that up to any readers who would like to share thoughts, memories or write a tribute to someone who perished on that day.  Please submit it to

As for my own recollections, there is nothing I can say more poignant or eloquent than thousands  have already said.  I know that my 9-11 experience pales in comparison to that of a child grown up without a parent, a parent whose child disappeared with the Towers, a seat forever  empty at the dinner table, a void in the lives of family and friends.

My own experience of that day and its indelible mark on my psyche is just a tiny stitch in a giant tapestry of collective loss, collective mourning.

Here are a few of my memories.

Like many, I watched the first Tower fall from Pier A park.  After that, police cleared the park and I watched the second Tower fall from my River Street roof top.  The rest of that day was spent worrying whether my cousin Susan, a Goldman Sachs employee, had survived (she did).

Susan was in the GS cafeteria when the first plane hit, saw debris falling through the windows  and got the hell out, ignoring an announcement to employees to stay put.  That decision saved her life.

I knew the landscape of both Towers very well, having worked for 4+ years on renovation projects in Tower 2 for The New York Stock Exchange (Floors 28, 29, 30) and AON (Floors 83, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105) I could walk those corridors, utility rooms  and tenant spaces in my mind.

They still linger there like ghosts.

The flip side of Fate's  random cruelty that delivered death to those on the upper floors of AON, saved those on the lower floors of the New York Stock Exchange 's Regulatory division.

I was friendly with many of the inspectors in the Port Authority Construction Department, on the 88th Floor of Tower 1.

The shock of seeing a picture of Port Authority employee Pete Negron held up on television- he'd done asbestos abatement on all of my projects, is an indelible memory;  his crying mother begging viewers for any information on his whereabouts.   Pete was a young guy, slender and dark-haired, very competent and very nice. Pete died on 9-11-01.

Pete Negron

I also knew James Barbella, Port Authority Fire Alarm Inspector.  James died on 9-11-01.

James Barbella

These are a few of my decade-old memories.

And while each anniversary picks at the scab and we realize our hearts are as broken now as on the day after, there is comfort in our collective strength as a nation.

We have moved on, but have taken their souls and dreams with us.

Not forgotten, they are part of us.  Always.

Hoboken Remembers

Joao A. "J.J." Aguiar Jr., 30
Jean A. Andrucki, 43
Peter Apollo, 26
Marty Boryczewski, 29
Nick Brandemarti, 21
Swarma Chalasani, 33
Christopher Colasanti, 33
Michael S. Costello, 27
Christopher Cramer, 34
Gavin Cushny, 47
Neil Dollard, 28
Douglas DiStefano, 24
Michael DeRienzo, 37
Margaret Echtermann, 33
Jeffrey B. Gardner, 36
Michael Edward Gould, 29
Scott Hazelcorn, 29
Joseph Ianelli
Matthew Horning, 26
Thomas Knox, 31
Donna Bernaerts-Kearns, 44
Greg Malone, 42
Marc A. Murolo
Katie McGarry-Noack, 30
George McLaughlin Jr., 36
Michael Mullin, 27
John Murray, 32
Martin S. Niederer, 23
Brian Novotny, 33
Keith K. O'Connor, 28
Lesley Thomas O'Keefe, 40
Dominique Pandolfo, 27
Jon A. Perconti Jr., 32
Scott Rohner, 22
Joshua Rosenblum, 28
Nick Rowe, 29
Ronald Ruben, 36
Richard L. Salinardi, 32
James Kenneth Samuel Jr., 29
John Schroeder, 32
Alex Steinman, 32
Melissa Vincent, 28
James Patrick White, 34
Deborah Lynn Williams, 35
Michael Wittenstein, 34


  1. "...Fate's random cruelty..." So very, very apt, GA.

    Here's a very thought-provoking piece on the
    larger context of (as Steve Almond calls it), "...a snuff film writ large." Particularly stunning, his remarks about our nation's "choice" to pursue "vengeance over mercy."


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