Friday, September 19, 2014

The Bonds of Brotherhood

I am an abysmal raconteur of the Kenny family's family history.  I could try to foist my lack of knowledge off on the fact that as the tail-gunner in a family of six children, a lot of what comprised said history occurred long before I came upon the scene and the tradition of passing down an oral history petered out in our house before I made my appearance.  Truth be told, it has far more to do with my own inability to focus and to pay attention to things that are not chiefly about me than it does anything else.  I have been a shallow asshole for close to a half-century now.  No sense trying to run from it. 

If I knew our own history better, then I would have a better understanding of my maternal grandfather's role in Local 3 of the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers).  I have a vague recollection of having heard Mom tell the story when I was a much younger man but nothing upon which I can place a finger.  Mom's father - identified by his grandchildren as "Grampy" - is a man of whom I have zero recollection.  All four of my grandparents were dead and buried by the time I was ten years old.  To this day, I have no memory of ever having met Grampy although I suppose that it is likely that I did.  

While I know not what his connection was to Local 3 of the IBEW, I know that whatever it was it is alive and well through the good efforts of the middle Kenny son, Kelly.  With no disrespect directed towards either Bill or me, there is but one Kenny brother to whom you would entrust the responsibility of building or constructing anything...and it is not Bill and it is most certainly not me.  My brother Kelly is our generation's iteration of Mom's brother, our Uncle Jim, who could build, fix and/or repair anything, which gift presumably he inherited from Grampy. 

Seventeen members of Local 3 of the IBEW were killed on September 11, 2001, while working at the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan.   Here is the list of the men who died that day: 

Lest we Forget
We mourn the loss of our Brothers:

Thomas Ashton
James M. Cartier
Robert J. Caufield
Joseph DiPilato
Salvatore A. Fiumefreddo
Harvey R. Hermer
Ralph M. Licciardi
Michael W. Lowe
Charles P. Lucania
Lester V. Marino
Jose A.  Martinez, Jr.
Joseph M. Romagnolo
Anthony Seggara
Jeffrey J. Shaw
Steven R. Strauss
Glenn J. Travers, Sr.
Kenneth W. White

In honor of those seventeen men, all of whom were killed while doing nothing less than trying to earn the daily bread necessary to support their families and themselves, on Friday, September 11, 2009 a Permanent Memorial was attached to the Electric Industry Center in Flushing, Queens, which is located at the junction of Harry Van Arsdale, Jr. Avenue and Parsons Boulevard. 


Based upon my admittedly sketchy understanding of my grandfather's role, several lifetimes ago, in Local 3, I suspect that wherever he is hanging his hat these days he is nodding approvingly over all that his grandson, Kelly, and the members of Local 3 have done in the thirteen-plus years since that terrible Tuesday morning to ensure that those who were killed shall not be forgotten.  Even more so, however, at all they have done to ensure that the families directly impacted by the deaths of those unfortunate seventeen have not been forgotten either.



No comments: