Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fifteen Years after 9/ll, the Lost are Still Missed

9/11: Remembering Michael Grady Jacobs and Carl Molinaro

UPDATE: Six more years have passed, but the pain never ends. For the families of Michael Grady Jacobs and Carl Molinaro, I am sure today, September 11, 2016, is very painful indeed. The post below was first published on September 11, 2010.

Today is the 9th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. For nine years now, the Islamic world has failed to condemn the acts of that day and the continuing violence that began to rock our world nearly one decade ago. We have yet to see any kinder, gentler face of Islam, but we remain open to the concept.  Families still mourn the 2,996 loved ones cruelly murdered that day, and Americans remember the horror.


In Memory of Michael Grady Jacobs

If Michael Grady Jacobs was alive today, this morning might find him practicing the bagpipes, dreaming of retirement just a couple of years away. Or perhaps he would have been off to breakfast with one of his children and some of his grandchildren, who were deprived forever by cruel foreign terrorists from ever knowing their grandfather.

When Michael Grady Jacobs headed off to work in Manhattan from suburban Danbury, Connecticut on September 11, 2001, it was a bright and beautiful morning. Fifty-four years old, at the prime of his career, he had a fine job at Fiduciary Trust International, as Vice-President of Tax Operations. He was a local Danbury boy, having received a good Jesuit education at Fairfield Prep, which prides itself on forming men of competence, compassion, and commitment as leaders of the world, after which he went on to Fairfield University.

Michael Grady Jacobs worked on the 90th floor of World Trade Center. He was only one of the 2,996 US citizens and guests whose life was snuffed out on 9/11 by foreign Jihadist warriors. Their terrorist value system defined anywhere in the world they chose to strike as their battlefield, and men the calibre of Michael Grady Jacobs--who spent the last minutes of his life attempting to lead his co-workers to safety-- as their enemies. His life, which included his family, his work, his rebuilding of an old Volkswagen beetle, and learning to play the bagpipes was cruelly taken from him that 9/11 morning without cause, warning, or justification.

The online exhibits at the National September 11 Memorial  Museumtell the stories of many who survived the horrors in New York City just eight years ago. Do take a moment to visit, to remember Michael Grady Jacobs, his family including his four children and now a grandchild, the others who were brutally murdered, and the many thousands of others who are left with a life-long struggle resulting from a loved one's loss.


In Memory of Carl Molinaro

If Carl Molinaro had been alive this Saturday, he would have still been a fairly young man of 41. Perhaps this morning, a warm Saturday in September, he would have headed out to the park with his 12 year old daughter and his 9 year old son. Maybe the afternoon would have been spent off at a movie or the mall, or just lazing about in the yard. Unfortunately, due to the cruel attacks of September 11, 2001, Carl's children really never knew him at all.

"Everybody that knew Carl loved Carl, especially me," said Donna Molinaro, in an interview in October, 2001. A year later, she wrote, "I will love you with all my heart until the end of time. You stole my heart at 15 and it will be yours forever." Mrs. Molinaro is the widow of firefighter Carl Molinaro. He died in New York City in the collapse of One World Trade Center while aiding building evacuation with Ladder Company 2, on September 11, 2001. Nearly 15,000 lives were saved through evacuation that fateful morning.

Carl was only 32. His newborn son was just three weeks old, and his daughter only 3 at the time of the attack on America. A native of Brooklyn, he had moved to Tottenville on Staten Island in his childhood, played football for Tottenville High, and was raising his family in the same neighborhood.

Carl was remembered by famous writer Kurt Vonnegut at a Memorial Service held on October 23, 2001. In that speech, Vonnegut--whose own life and house had been saved by firfighters just two years earlier--referred to an earlier quote of his, "I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire truck."

Clearly, Carl was as taken by firefighting as was Vonnegut, moving from working in his Dad's New Jersey furniture factory to learning to be a firefighter in his late 20's. His life and contribution to the survivors of 9/11 is memorialized in nearly 2,000 online tributes to him, including one at the New York Times.

These tributes are part of Project 2996, an online initiative which remembers the victims of the terrorist attacks upon the United States on 9/11/2001.