Wednesday, September 11, 2019

9/11 — 18 years later

In Judaism the number 18 corresponds to Chai (Life) and for the past 18 years people have gone on living, but never forgetting the precious lives lost on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

Living… but life was never the same for the widows and widowers, the children and parents, the brothers and sisters, and the friends and co-workers. Some have remarried, children have grown to have families of their own, but the mourning continues. It’s said that you never stop missing someone, instead the hole inside of you just becomes a part of your everyday, and as time goes on you can’t help but wonder how different life might have been if your loved one was still here, walking beside you, and sharing in the many joys that could have been. So many of the loved ones of those lost have lived courageous lives, they’ve raised their children, children have found their paths, siblings have created lasting tributes, and none have never forgotten.

“Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.” George Eliot

Every year I selfishly count my blessings. My husband had been scheduled to be working that Tuesday at 3 World Trade Center (destroyed under the collapsing towers), but thanks to the grace of God (if you believe), or a stroke of luck (if you don’t), the 2-day financial show he was working on was rescheduled for the 10th and 12th instead due to a scheduling conflict of one of the keynote speakers. Instead he was at home, by my side, and we watched on TV as the towers fell. I will never forget the panicked phone call from our son, in school, asking about his father and not knowing about the changed date; then a second phone call from our daughter, away at college, checking in on our welfare and saying she was headed home. And later that evening, he was on one of a contingent of (volunteer) ambulances that went to the site to hopefully assist in the rescue of survivors — unfortunately those trucks returned without any patients, no survivors were found by then.

There were 2996 people killed on 9/11 (including people at the World Trade Center, airplane passengers and crews, and Pentagon employees) In addition to the memories and the losses suffered that day 18-years ago, by 2019 we’ve had many more tragic losses due to respiratory disease and cancer from those who were exposed to the dust from the collapse of the epic buildings. The NYPD, which lost 23 brave souls on Sept. 11, 2001, 37 from the Port Authority police also died; they have to date lost 241 more members of 9/11-related illnesses. 343 courageous firefighters, plus 1 heroic fire patrolman, died 18 years ago, since then 202 more FDNY members have died of illnesses related to their service on Sept. 11.And 8 emergency medical technicians and paramedics from private agencies also died on 9/11. 

Thousands more (including rescue workers, employees at WTC, and area residents have been reported to be suffering from illness related to 9/11. Researchers have now linked cardiovascular disease (heart attack or stroke) to exposure at the WTC site. And there are no available numbers of the effects of PTSD on anyone who was physically present or even watched the news reports of that day. The horror continues.

Since I was a Rockland County (NY) resident at the time of the attacks, I often listed the names of Rockland residents that died; I personally only knew two individuals and a few of the families. Before I moved out of Rockland I met more families and friends and heard many more stories. Although I am no longer living there I will post and honor those individuals (links to more names are below):

       Rockland County Residents

Ø Janet M. Alonso 41 Stony Point NY
Ø Calixto Anaya Jr. 35 Suffern NY
Ø Japhet J. Aryee 49 Spring Valley NY
Ø Richard E. Bosco 34 Suffern NY
Ø Sgt. John Gerard Coughlin 43 Pomona NY
Ø Welles Remy Crowther 24 Upper Nyack NY
Ø John D' Allara 47 Pearl River NY
Ø Bernard D. Favuzza 52 Suffern NY
Ø Thomas Foley 32 West Nyack NY
Ø Andrew Fredericks 40 Suffern NY
Ø Robert Joseph Gschaar 55 Spring Valley NY
Ø Dana Hannon 29 Suffern NY
Ø Capt. Frederick Ill Jr. 49 Pearl River NY
Ø Farah Jeudy 32 Spring Valley NY
Ø Joseph Marchbanks Jr. 47 Nanuet NY
Ø John Marshall 35 Congers NY
Ø Patricia A. McAneney 50 Pomona NY
Ø Robert Garvin McCarthy 33 Stony Point NY
Ø Robert William McPadden 30 Pearl River NY
Ø Luke G. Nee 44 Stony Point NY
Ø Gerald O'Leary 34 Stony Point NY
Ø David Ortiz 37 Nanuet NY
Ø Lt. Vernon Allan Richard 53 Nanuet NY
Ø Thomas G. Schoales 27 Stony Point NY
Ø Mohammed Shajahan 41 Spring Valley NY
Ø Gregory Sikorsky 34 Spring Valley NY
Ø Catherine T. Smith 44 West Haverstraw NY
Ø Robert W. Spear Jr. 30 Valley Cottage NY
Ø Loretta A, Vero 51 Nanuet NY
Ø Benjamin Walker 41 Suffern NY
Ø Weibin Wang 41 Orangeburg NY
Ø Steven Weinberg 41 New City NY
Ø Capt. David T. Wooley 53 Nanuet NY

To view a full memorial list of 9/11 victims go here:

To view a list of law enforcement officers from 10 agencies, go here
(includes those who have died from 9/11 illnesses)

To view of list of FDNY officers who died on 9/11, go here:

To view a list of all Emergency workers killed in the September 11 attacks, go here:

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