some amazing people I just met

day of remembering

This post I first published in Sept. 2013, after I visit NYC for my 65th birthday. I’m born the 11th of Sept.

The 9/11 Memorial was an eye-opener for me …. there in a middle of a massive building site was this oasis of peace, remembering, afterthoughts … so beautifully done and with such great respect.9.11 Memorial

To walk around the two pools and read all the names of the people that lost their lives on that day – was overwhelming.  It was at first hard to grasp … but I got to know some amazing people too.

Names that my camera landed on while walking around the pools – names that I wanted to know a little more about. And I would like you to meet them too.

Michael Healey, 42, East Patchogue;  lieutenant with the New York City fire department’s Squad No. 41 in the Bronx. He was last seen in the south tower, and his remains were never found. He was a lacrosse coach.

Thomas Patrick Cullen III, 41, New York; firefighter as a member of Squad 41 in the Bronx. Thomas would wait until his 2-year-old son and namesake would go to sleep, then rearrange the toy train track in the family living room, “He wanted Tom to be excited when he came downstairs every morning,” said Cullen’s wife, Susan.

Charles William Garbarini, 44, New York, Lieutenant at Engine 23, Battalion 9, Manhattan.  A letter left for him at the Police Memorial Wall directly after the attacks began, “We are here to honour Charles Garbarini, whose humour’s as dry as a good martini.”more names

John Patrick Burnside, 36, New York; firefighter, Ladder 20.  John was a 3-year veteran of the NYPD @ Central Park Precinct. Last 7 years, he served as one of NY’s bravest among his friends and comrades of Ladder 20.

Fred C Scheffold Jr.,  57, New York; Battalion Chief, FDNY, of Piermont – served the last 10 years of his 32-year FDNY career in East Harlem where he was a with the 12th Battalion.

Douglas C Miller, 37, Port Jervis, NY , firefighter, Rescue 5 in Staten Island. Doug was on the Department just shy of 6 years. He began his career as a firefighter with Ladder 172/Engine 330 in Brooklyn. Douglas was also an instructor at the Fire Training Center.

Victor J. Saracini, 51, Lower Makefield Township, Bucks County, PA: pilot United Airlines Flight 175. A former Navy pilot had been flying commercial jets since 1985. His widow Ellen was denied full pension from United Airlines. He liked to travel with his guitar, his wife Ellen said. He was recognized in airports with his guitar slung over his shoulder.

Jesus Sanchez, 4 5, Hudson, Mass: Passenger of Flight 175. Jesus worked as a flight attendant for United Airline, but off duty. Came from original from Puerto Rico and had 5 sisters and 5 memory of David

Patricia E. Mickley, 41, Springfield, Va: Financial manager, Defense Department. Patricia had been working 19 years for the Defense Department. Also called Patty and mother to Marie Jacqueline.

David Michael Barkway, 34, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Managing director, BMO Nesbitt Burns. He was a rising star in the Toronto financial world. He was known on Bay Street in Toronto for his determination to improve his golf game, his cigars and his practical jokes. Colleagues would return from lunch to find a flashing message on their computer screen that was impossible to delete.

Peter J. Owens Jr, 42, Williston Park, N.Y: Government agencies, Cantor Fitzgerald. Peter was never one to go on shopping sprees. Even though he was working on Wall Street, Armani was a foreign word to him, said his wife Kathy. At night, Owens would fold the wash and do the dishes.

Mark Joseph Colaio, 34,  New York, N.Y: Senior managing director at Cantor Fitzgerald. Mark and his brother Stephen, 32, grew up in Hicksville. They worked at Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor. But their bond was far closer than their 40-hour-plus workweeks. They partied and played together and both tried to live by the mantra written on the T-shirts they both wore: “Life Is Good.”

Scott, I’m sure there was more than one Scott that didn’t make it home that day 12 years ago, but  I truly want to believe that there were many more men by name Scott, that made it home to their loved ones.


“9/11, We shall never forget, we shall keep this day,
we shall keep the events and the tears in our minds,
our memory and our hearts and take
them with us as we carry on”

59 thoughts on “some amazing people I just met

    • Thanks a million, Bob …. it was so hard to grasp at first – and the police presents and all the security checks before really killed the whole feeling for me – but inside the “park” – it all fall into place for me.

  1. This is one of the first places I intend to visit when I head down to the big apple, To honor these fallen heroes who perished in the line of duty. Their courage is something that I hope will set examples for future generations to come.

    • In think there was so many heroes that day, not only the lost and fallen once … ordinary people that helped needed and comforted needed and shocked. So the Memorial is all about them too. It’s a truly beautiful place in the middle of a building site … that gives time for reflection. Hopefully the museum will be ready when you visit, spring next year. Manage to get a photo through the cover windows of the two steel joists from one of the towers .. that will the main focus point in the museum.

      • So true, I will definitely have to do that as well when I visit, I know that I will be reflecting on a great deal there for sure, so many stories the steel beams would tell and so much to remember about that day.

      • Yes, I had hoped that … the museum had been open, NYC is far away from Sweden, so I don’t think I will get the chance to visit … but maybe, do some thinking for me too.

    • Jo, it is the same what happen with the Jews during WWII – we have to forget to be able to go on … but we will never really understand. And we should never forget.
      When I saw the reading of names on the New morning over there and this 15-16 year old girl after reading her 10 names, sent her message to her father … and totally brook down, I started to cry too. She could have only been 2-3 years when it happened, the day her father didn’t come home from work.

  2. I’ve never been to the 9/11 site but this was a wonderful tribute Viveka. It’s such a sad, poignant memory that no one in this generation is going to forget. I still remember coming home from work to footage of the disaster on every TV channel. It was like being in a strange, other-worldly experience. The world seemed strange for days. I am sure that the families of these people would appreciate your tribute to them xx

    • Laura, thank you so much …. I didn’t really know how to tell my story about my visit to the memorial, but it wasn’t really about my visit – it’s all about them … and all those heroes that survived and helped others … not only the fallen once.
      It’s a day that the world hopefully will never forget. Thanks for your beautiful words.

  3. hi Viveka, we grieve for these people yet remember them with pleasant thoughts because of their selfless service to others. i pray that no one forgets … but will be forgiving … thank you for sharing a very poignant post on this one day that changed the history of our world altogether … by the way, my Bob celebrates his birthday on this day … i am hoping that you are having a grand time at NYC! — April

    • April, so true what you’re saying …. and thanks for your wonderful worlds. It’s my birthday too – and I have never really celebrated my birthday since 2001. I celebrate mostly the day before, that was why it was so important for me to visit NYC one time more.
      Had a fantastic time in NYC – been back home since Friday.

      • OMG! i will never forget to remember you on your birthday then … belated Happy Birthday 🙂 am glad you are now again celebrating your special day … i hope to be able to extend special wishes to you every year that you and Bob turn a year older together. this is one special connection given us … God bless you, dear friend 🙂

  4. This is beautiful tribute, dear Viveka. It is so touching… never been forgotten, even not only in there, in the world. Still I can’t believe how this happened… Thank you dear Viveka, you are such a beautiful soul, Blessing and Happiness, love, nia

    • Nia, yes … it’s very difficult to grasp what really happen that day 12 years ago. When I looked a the two pools that is built on the ground and to the size of the two towers, they looked not that big – I remember the towers so much bigger … been up in one of them. And all the names … I don’t think the world or generations will be able to forget. Thanks for your kind words.

  5. I’m going up to New York in October, and so want to visit this memorial. What a tragic loss for all those families. Thanks for introducing me to some of those brave people. i remember when we went over from South Africa to see and hug our son, only a week after 911 happened. There were photos and tributes everywhere we went. It was a most moving visit. Love the rendition of ‘Amazing Grace’.

    • You have to visit the memorial … so beautiful done – the museum will not be open .. until spring.
      Terrible … and we need to keep the memory alive … so important that the names will be read every year to come.

  6. The 9/11 memorial is beautiful but, at the same time, very sad. All of those names… It makes your heart sink.

    There is another memorial, for flight 93 that is close to my home town. I actually saw it for the first time about two years ago. They have big plans for it but right now it looks a bit strange because it is this vibrant memorial in the middle of a field. If you ever get a chance to go see it, do it in the fall when the leaves are changing. It looks beautiful out there in the middle of nowhere with all of the orange, red, and yellow leaves.

    • Thank you so much for the link, I think what those passengers did on flight 93 was brave and heroic; they saved other people lives in the last minutes of their own. A truly beautiful memorial.
      The whole thing about 9/11 was an act of war – and war where ever it’s create devastation, doesn’t matter if it’s US missals that kills an innocent wedding party Afghanistan or planes flying into the twin towers. That is what war creates and we should cry for all victims, doesn’t matter where in the world it happens. Look at what happen to the Jews during WWII, millions! I would love us to have an International War Victims Day or Terror Vicitms Day.

    • Maralee, I think we all do. Thank you for your support,I was worried over how I should do this post, but it seems like I got it right and it felt good too to do it.

    • Linda, I had to do a bit of thinking how to present my visit and photos, but it wasn’t really about my the time I spent there at the Memorial .. it was about the ones I spend it because of. Thank you so much for your kind words.n

    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment and for visiting me. I was so suppose to re-blog the post for 9/11, but away. Somehow I find peace in this post, so it’s a true pleasure to share it again.

  7. A beautiful and fitting post. I visited the museum two years ago. It’s been sympathetically thought through and is extremely sobering, although I couldn’t bring myself to write about it. This post is so touching.

    • Thank you so much, Susanne … I was struggling to start with – how to make the post about them that are lost and not about my visit. Thank you so much for your lovely comment.

  8. Viveka – I was so touched by your post. The images are fantastic but the list of the people you “met” and your comments about them was the perfect way to honor both the site and the people it memorializes. You have captured the spirit of the place perfectly. As to the number of Scotts, coincidentally our son’s name is Scott and he lives and works in NYC. On 9/11 he had a dentist appointment so was on the subway about an hour earlier than normal. Had he NOT had that appointment he’d have been on the subway in the World Trade Center. As we say “Live Every Day”. Thank you for this beautiful tribute.

    • Thank you so much for the beautiful comment. It wasn’t easy to be do a post about the memorial, so when I got the idea about looking up the people behind the names it felt right. To visit the memorial was one of the highlights of my NYC visit and I haven’t been back in NYC again. So glad that your Scott came home that day, what what a coincidence – that the name Scott became important to me. One of the last images I captured on the site. Yes, you’re so right … live everyday .. and make the best of it. Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

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