Project 2996 for this year, 2009 has come around, who can believe that it is now 8 years since that fateful day 9/11/2001.
This year when I gladly volunteered to again do a tribute to some of the heroes of that day I was given the names;
Rudolph N. Riccio.
Lt John R. Fischer.
James R. Paul.
Now of course I didn’t know any of these men personally but I had no trouble locating their names on countless lists of victims and honor roles.
When I went in search of more personal details though I ran into trouble, all I could find was that Rudolph was 50 years old, had a wife named Joanne and 2 sisters named Meg, and Fran, he was an IT employee of the firm Cantor Fitzgerald, they had offices on floors 101 to 105 in the North tower of the World Trade Center.
American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767, struck the North Tower at 8.46am, impacting on floors 94 to 98, we now know that anyone on floors above 98 were trapped, this included over 600 Cantor Fitzgerald staff.
Those are some of the cold hard facts of that day and the man Rudolph N Riccio, we can only guess at the sheer terror that gripped the people involved, but we have heard of the countless acts of heroism performed and I have no trouble in seeing Rudolph in the role of hero.
John R. Fischer
John Fischer was a little easier for me (an outsider) to trace, as an officer at the Manhattan Fire Station where he served for 7 years John was the epitome of a hero on a daily basis.
John was promoted to the rank of Captain posthumously on September 17.
John who was 46 years of age, is survived by his wife of 16 years Jean, their 3 children who were aged 14, 12, and 9 at the time, also 3 brothers and 1 sister, our thoughts and prayers go out to you all.
The men, women, and children that his life touched as a Fireman, and in his personal life have been privileged to know him.
James R. Paul.
James was 58 back in 2001, he was married to Pat and they had 2 daughters.
He was born in Kentucky, after graduation he spent 20 years in Chicago working for Dean Witter, he then transferred to New York where he spent the last 8 years of his life; he worked on the 92nd floor of the WTC.
James spent some time in the Army, he was the author of a book described by many as "necessary reading".
I am pleased to add my tribute to the many that have been paid to this wonderful man
May the souls of all those who were taken from their loved ones rest in peace safe now in the knowledge that the world will cherish them and never forget them.
I am reposting a poem by an anonymous writer which I posted back in 2006 because I believe this simple poem says so much about resilience and the depth of feeling world wide for the act of terrorism of 9/11
A Dad’s Poem.
Her hair was in a pony tail,
her favorite dress tied with a bow.
Today was Daddy’s day at school,
and she couldn’t wait to go.
But her Mommy tried to tell her,
that she probably should stay home.
Why the kids might not understand,
if she went to school alone.
But she was not afraid;
she knew just what to say.
What to tell her classmates
of why he wasn’t there today.
But still her Mother worried,
for her to face this day alone.
And that is why once more,
she tried to keep her daughter home.
The little girl went of to school
eager to tell them all.
About a Dad she never sees
a Dad who never calls.
There were daddies along the back wall,
for everyone to meet.
Children squirmed impatiently,
anxious in their seats.
One by one the teacher called
a student from the class.
To introduce their Daddy
as seconds slowly passed.
At last the teacher called her name,
every child turned to stare.
Each of them was searching,
for a man who wasn’t there.
“Where’s her Daddy at?”
she heard a boy call out
“She probably doesn’t have one”
another student dared to shout.
And from somewhere up the back,
she heard a Daddy say,
“Looks like another dead beat Dad,
too busy to waste his day.”
The words did not offend her,
as she smiled up at her Mom.
And looked back at her teacher,
who told her to go on.
With hands behind her back,
slowly she began to speak.
And from the mouth of this child,
came words incredibly unique.
“My Daddy couldn’t be here,
because he lives so far away.
But I know he wishes he could be,
since this is such a special day.”
“And although you cannot meet him,
I wanted you to know,
all about my Daddy,
and how he loves me so.”
“He loved to tell me stories,
he taught me to ride my bike.
He surprised me with pink roses,
and taught me to fly a kite.”
“We used to share fudge sundaes,
and ice-cream in a cone.
and though you cannot see him,
I’m not standing here alone.”
“Cause my Daddy’s always with me,
even though we are apart.
I know because he told me,
he is forever in my heart.”
With that her little hand reached up,
and lay across her chest.
Feeling her own heartbeat,
beneath her favorite dress.
From up there in the crowd of Dads,
her Mother stood in tears.
As she proudly watched her daughter,
who was wise beyond her years.
For she stood up for the love,
of a man not in her life.
Doing what was best for her,
doing what was right.
When she dropped her hands back down,
staring straight into the crowd.
She finished with a voice so soft,
but a message clear and loud.
“I love my Daddy very much,
he is my shining star.
And if he could he’d be here,
but Heaven’s just too far.”
“You see he was a policeman,
he died just last year.
When those airplanes hit the towers,
and taught Americans to fear.”
“But sometimes when I close my eyes,
it’s like he never went away.”
And then she closed her eyes,
and saw him there that day.
And to her Moms amazement,
she witnessed with surprise.
A room full of Dad’s and children,
all starting to close their eyes.
Who knows what they saw before them,
who knows what they felt inside.
Perhaps just for a second,
they saw him by her side.
“I know you’re with me Daddy.”
To the silence she called out.
What happened next made believers,
of those once filled with doubt.
None in that room could explain it,
for each of their eyes had been closed.
But there on the desk beside her,
was a fragrant long-stemmed pink rose.
A child was blessed in that moment,
by the love of her shining star.
And given the gift of believing,
that Heaven is never too far.