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A Tribute to Lt. Gregg Arthur Atlas

September 11, 2009

May GOD protect the innocent souls in His Kingdom who perished on September 11, 2001. May we, who are left to carry on, never forget their sacrifice.

Firefighter Gregg A. Atlas, 45, enjoyed the simple, rural life best of all. He joined the Fire Department in 1981. He worked his way through the ranks and after being promoted to lieutenant in 1994, he became a member of Engine Co. 10, on Liberty Street, across from the Twin Towers.

Members of Engine 10 reportedly were last heard from when they were in Tower 1 between the 30th and 40th floors.

He was very proud that his three brothers were also firefighters.
He was generous and kind and his family was everything to him.
He lived life to the fullest with a sense of humor.
He was survived by his wife, children, parents, three brothers and a sister.

“For to his angels He’s given a command. To guard you in all of your ways;
Upon their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings, bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of His Hand.”


A tribute to Mary D’Antonio

September 11, 2009

 9-11-01  A day that never should be forgotten- nor the people that perished.

World Trade Center

It is my honor to pay tribute to one of the 2,996.  Mary D’Antonio in my research was one wonderful woman. It is sad that her life was cut short. Left missing her are two daughters and a husband surrounded by other family, friends and business acquaintances. In her 55 years she exemplified what it is to be a hard worker, courteous, loving, thoughtful and thorough. She must have had her faith in God as a base in which she pulled her values and steadfastness serving others and pulling through tough moments.  To call the morning of 9/11/09 a tough moment is indeed an understatement. It came to light that because she had been absent the day before- she made an extra effort to come in early that morning to make sure she would be on top of any extra work.  It does not do one any good to ‘what-if’ in hindsight when either way a great loss is still felt.

If it is possible to miss someone that one has never met then Mary D’Antonio is on my list.  May she and her family and friends come to know peace today and in the future. It is apparent she gently touched many lives and only in our passing and ‘life review’ will we truly know how we affected the world for the better.

Amy O’ Doherty, 8 Years Beyond The Impact

September 11, 2009

The task of remembering the life of one beautiful flower among the myriad taken from the garden of humanity on that fateful day is one I’ve approached with  a solemn humility and deep respect. I’m hoping that it serves as both a reminder of the soul that once graced our presence and that whose memory we hold dear enough to one day enjoy again, and an inspiration for anyone reading to live our lives the way Amy would have wanted.

From what I’ve learned, Amy lived a pleasant and and successful youth in Pelham, NY, eventually gaining entrance into St. Bonaventure University. She graduated from there in 2000, and earned a position with Cantor Fitzgerald, an international securities firm with offices in the World Trade Center. What strikes me is the suddenness of which he was taken from us, as she was just beginning a career, with fresh eyes forward and hopes reaching to the stars. An tribute from the New York Times reads:

To Amy O’Doherty, in her first job and apartment, Manhattan’s streets emanated excitement and its air, promise — of new friends and smart conversations over steaks at Morton’s, and of unlimited success. Of what Geraldine Davie, her mother, called “the largeness of life.”

Ms. O’Doherty, 23, loved her job as a broker’s assistant at Cantor Fitzgerald. “Financing, trading, bonds,” said Liz Gallello, a childhood friend. “She wanted to take it – the career, the city woman lifestyle – as far as far it could go.”

She was delighted with her five-story walk-up — so small, said Ms. Davie, that “Lilliputians should live in it.” She filled it with dozens of framed photos of friends from Pelham, N.Y., where she grew up, and from camp, college and work.

“She was soaking up that great New York style,” said Ms. Davie. “Picking up that New York language. She didn’t know it but she was living her bliss.”

I can’t imagine the flood of emotions that runs through Amy’s family and friends always, but especially approaching this, the eighth anniversary of September 11, 2001. I can only offer my prayers and the promise that by taking a look at her life, I have been inspired to work harder to make sure that no one ever forgets what happened on that fateful day.
And I would like to add that while I was pondering her life and the position that her life was in that morning as she commuted to the job in the field that she had honed her skills in, I decided to assume that she had a hopefulness for the future that shone brighter than the stars in the sky from this globe, and that still travels the universe today.

Before I leave the poem written by a friend that I discovered at the site of a previous tribute, I’d like to add my contribution of a Bible verse that I’ve found particularly inspiring on the eve of this occasion, and that will hopefully give some comfort and inspiration to Amy’s loved ones and anyone reading this. I know that Amy has heard it already.

Psalm 42

BOOK II : Psalms 42-72


For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah. [a]

[b] As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.

2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?

3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while men say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”

4 These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go with the multitude,
leading the procession to the house of God,
with shouts of joy and thanksgiving
among the festive throng.

5 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and 6 my God.
My [c] soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

7 Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

8 By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

9 I say to God my Rock,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?”

10 My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”

11 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

A poem by friend Diane Huggins:

Just as the sunflowers you loved you were bright and cheery in every way,
You loved your colleges and your job that was well displayed.
You had a kind, generous heart that never strayed.
You felt life should be savored not just lived from day to day.
A master disciplinarian with both gentleness and firmness conveyed.
You were always smiling and laughing just a beautiful person surveyed.
You had a great sense of humor, upbeat so full of fun and play.
You implanted heart prints on many hearts that love will never stray.
Shopping for yourself and your mother was always a great thrill and okay.
If mom Geraldine wanted something you indulged her without delay.
You were happy when mom accepted your gifts, they were like beautiful bouquets.
You were and forever are her precious daughter, a true gift of love so to say.
Beloved sister to Maura you shared a close friendship so fine,
you continue to guide her with your spirit of love that is very well defined.
Loving daughter to James he misses the times you intertwined,
He sees your love living on in each twinkling star that brightly shines.
There is a beautiful star in Heaven that to him alone has been assigned.
You live on in your family forever dwelling in their hearts and minds.
you’re their guardian angel and their greatest hero and gift divine.

Edward James Day: Firefighter, Hero, Friend

September 11, 2009

If a man is to be measured by the love of the friends and family he leaves behind, Edward James Day was a King.  Certainly, he was a Hero.  A fireman of Ladder 11, Eddie Day was the beloved husband of Gitta.  His devoted friends, Abe and Ronni Lynn and others, lovingly describe his big grin and heart to match.  He was a gentle giant who loved to get down and dirty, whether fighting fires or working on his bike.  Clearly, he was a wonderful friend, an inspiration to all lucky enough to have known him, and a man of courage and humor.   I never met Edward.  But I can tell you that he has touched my heart by the memories that linger in the minds of those who knew him. In every sense of the word, he was a great American.

Keiji Takahashi

September 10, 2009

In the eyes of his colleagues at Mizuho Capital Markets Corporation, Keiji Takahashi demonstrated the qualities of a true hero on September 11, 2001.  From his office on the 80th floor of the South Tower, Mr. Takahashi viewed the fire blazing in the North Tower of the World Trade Center before most of his associates at Mizuho knew what had occurred.  The 42-year-old manager wasted no time in alerting his staff about the danger that had erupted in the next building.  Together with three other members of Mizuho’s management team, Keiji urged the company’s employees to exit the South Tower immediately.

Mr. Takahashi played an instrumental role in evacuating the 80th floor of 2 World Trade Center, thereby helping to save numerous lives.  As a result of his decisiveness and quick-thinking, most Mizuho employees were well below the point of impact when United Flight 175 hit the South Tower.  Along with the three other managers who orchestrated the 80th floor exodus, Keiji Takahashi did not escape the building alive.

Friends and colleagues remember Keiji’s kindness and perpetual smile.  He was well-liked by all, and revered for his “presence of mind, heroic instincts, and selfless actions” on that tragic day, according to one colleague.  A Japanese citizen, Mr. Takahashi graduated from the Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo. He earned a Law Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1985.

Keiji lived with his wife and two children in Tenafly, NJ.  He touched the lives of many, and is greatly missed by those who knew him.

Michael Taddonio

September 10, 2009

On this the eighth year since the tragedy of September 11 I ask you to remember Michael Taddonio. Michael worked as a bond broker for Euro Brokers and was 39 years old when he lost his life that tragic day. Devoted to his children, Michael called his mother from the 91st floor of the World Trade Center and told her to tell his three children he loved them. It was Michael’s last phone call. In 2006 a friend, Michael Costello, wrote “I have never met anyone that was loved by his kids the way you were” in a tribute to Michael. On Sept 11, 2001, Michael left behind Danielle (11), Nicole (9), and Michael (5). This year would have been Michael’s 25th reunion of his college graduation at Siena College. The school has established a scholarship fund in Michael’s name. Michael was class president his senior year at Locust Valley High School in Long Island. I never knew Michael, but I took the time to learn a little about him because he deserves to be remembered. We must never forget Michael and others who lost their lives that day.

Shelley Raker

Tryone May Tribute

September 10, 2009

“If music be the food of love, play on;”  William Shakespeare

The facts are these, Tyrone May worked as an auditor with the NY Department of Finance and Taxation at the World Trade Center in Tower 2.  At the far too young age of 44, he lost his life during the

terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.  Looking no further than these facts would be to miss out on what a truly vibrant character this man was.

Tyrone was a husband to Marva, proud father to Tyrone Jr., godfather to Ronnell Evans and friend to many.  In the comments I read regarding Tyrone, family and friend

kept coming up again and again.  He stressed  family responsibility in talks with a cousin, encouraging her as she faced the tough task of being a single parent.  In the photo that I found,

Tyrone had a smile that lit up his entire face.  One can imagine that huge smile on his face when he spoke of his wife and son.

While his work expertise was numbers, music was his passion. You could not enter his apartment without noticing the large amount of  albums and CD’s spanning all kinds of genres.  It seemed if there was good

music out there, Tyrone would find it and play it.  While not a professional DJ per se, he did spin for his yearly party, where hundreds of family and friends

would gather and enjoy an evening of dance and fun.  This event Tyrone would meticulously arrange with skills that would rival the most senior party planner.  He would labor over the invitations,

the venue and the music.  On that September morning, he told his wife to expect a fax regarding he planned December 15th event.  Unfortunately, he was never able to personally complete his plans.

While I’ve never met Tyrone, I expect his family and friends joined together, finished the planning and turned it into a wonderful celebrations of a life well lived.  I wonder if his family still carries

on that yearly tradition and I think they probably do in one way or another.

So on September 11th, I will first say a prayer for Tyrone and for his family.  Then, I will be sure to channel my inner DJ and play some great music in his honor.  I hope you all do the same and

let his memory play on.  Tyrone May