John S. White
September 11, 2001 was the most horrifying day I have ever lived through. I will never forget what I felt on that day for as long as I live. I will always remember exactly where I was and who was around me on that day. It was the worst attack that our nation has ever suffered and it changed me forever.
I have always been a very patriotic person because my parents taught me that I live in the greatest country on earth. My grandfather fought in WWII and received a bronze oak leaf cluster for his acts. My grandmother was a lieutenant in the Navy during WWII and as a nurse she took care of the wounded solders that came back from Pearl Harbor. It is my duty as an American and as the granddaughter of these two brave people that I honor my country and love it for everything it is no matter what.
That is not the purpose of this post though, the purpose of this post is to honor the victims of this day 5 years ago. I signed up for 2996, which is a tribute to each victim. I was assigned to John S. White.
Mr. White emigrated from Jamaica when he was 20 years old in 1973 and he lived in Brooklyn. His wife Enid, did not like New York because of the cold winters, so she and their two daughters, Maxine and Denise, moved to Florida. He would visit them 3 times a year, and those were his favorite times.
He loved to help people, perhaps that is why he was put on this earth. He would help his friends at a moments notice with no questions asked and always offered a smile. He would fix broken pipes in the middle of the night, or pick up a friend at 5 am if they need a ride to work. If his supervisor needed him to stay until midnight on his job operating elevators at the World Trade Center, he always said yes.
Once, while he and some friends were painting the facade of a church in Brooklyn, an elderly driver crashed into some young toughs, who jumped out of their car and began pummeling the older man. Mr. White and his friends ran over and pulled them off the driver, enraging them. A half-hour later, the men returned with guns and began shooting, killing of Mr. White's friends and hitting Mr. White. His sister said he still had a bullet in his spine. (I found this story here)
He was one of the many that went to work that day, never to return home. He would never get to retire and move down to Florida to be with his wife and daughters as he was seriously considering. He worked in the World Trade Center for 27 years. He missed his family very much and longed to be with them.
I don't know where in the building he was at the time of the attack. I don't know if he was trying to get out when the buildings came down. All I know is that from what I have learned about him in the past few weeks, is that he was more then likely helping others get out when he perished.
In the guest book that I found at the above mentioned page has an entry from his daughter. She says:
Daddy was a man who I loved dearly. His compassion for people and his warm approach made it so easy to be around him. People always say how I look just like my daddy. I remember going to different places with him and just having that wonderful father daughter relationship. He always had an encouraging word to say and always made you smile. I will never forget his words that he said to me the Monday before he died. He told me "Max, take care of your mother and remember that I love you and will always love you." I think about it all the time and thing about my daddy all the time. I love him very much and miss him dearly. But the food news is that he is in a better place resting.
I love you daddy
Your daughter Max
I cannot imagine the pain that that family and 2,995 other families felt that day. There are many tributes to the people that perished that day. One of them is a United in Memory, which is a memorial quilt and each victim has their own quilt square. I emailed Kim Monins and asked permission to use a picture of Mr. White's quilt square and I was sent the picture, but for whatever reason, I am unable to post it at this moment, so I will do that later. United in Memory is touring with the quilt so that we can all see this moving tribute. They are in Staten Island today and the next show will be in PA. Go here to see Mr. White's quilt square.
I signed up to do this today because it is a way of helping me heal and I hope that if Mr. White's family ever comes across this, they will be pleased. I pray that I did him justice. It seems to me that he was a friend to everyone, and I can only hope that if I had ever had the pleasure of meeting him, he would have been my friend too.
To his family, I am truly sorry for the loss you have suffered and I will keep you in my prayers.