Monday, August 11, 2014

Not to Die

To live in hearts we leave behind
Is not to die.
- Thomas Campbell

Gordy Aamoth was thirty-two years old when he was killed on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.  Aamoth was an investment banker at Sandler O'Neill & Partners and had - in fact - closed the biggest merger deal of his career only one day earlier.  Gordy Aamoth was a Minnesota boy.  He was the son of Mary and Dr. Gordon Aamoth.  He was one of three Aamoth sons, brother to Erik and Peter.  He was a star athlete at his high school, the Blake School in Hopkins, Minnesota.  He was the captain of the football team.  The Blake School renamed its stadium for him.  

Edelmiro Abad was the husband of Lorraine and the father of three daughters, Rebecca, Jennifer and Serena.  The Abads lived in Brooklyn.  Mr. Abad spent the final twenty-six years of his life working at Fiduciary Trust Company International.  At the time of his death he was a Senior Vice-President.  His wife Lorraine said that the thing that frightened him the most - as the father of three daughters - was the sound of a male voice on the telephone asking to speak to one of his girls.   As a man who raised only one daughter I can only begin to appreciate the level of his anxiety.

Alona Abraham was killed on September 11, 2001 while a passenger on United Airlines Flight 175, which was the flight that struck the South Tower of the World Trade Center.  Ms. Abraham was from Israel.  She had spent the first ten-plus days of September on her first-ever vacation to the United States.  She had spent her vacation in and around the Boston area, whale-watching, shopping and walking around in Cambridge. She had called home to tell her mother how wonderful a time she was having.   She was thirty years old and the oldest of three children.  In an ironic twist, Ms. Abraham had come to the United States for vacation - at the urging of a cousin who lived in Van Nuys, California - because it was somewhere where she could be safe - safer than she was at home in Israel. 

The living owe it to those who no longer can speak
To tell their story for them. 
-Czeslaw Milosz


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