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Monday, September 11, 2006

The 2996 Project - Jesus Cabezas

This post stays at the top of this blog until 9/12/06

Jesus Cabezas called it his picture face – the stony, serious expression pictured above. It was a stark contrast to the sunny disposition of the 66 year old Windows on the World cook. Jesus’ dynamic personality was larger than his 5 foot, 5 inch, 150 lb frame. So was his spirit.

He came home one day holding a knife he’d taken from a mugger during a struggle. “He ran away before I could give it back,” he quipped.

And that wasn’t the only battle he’d fought – Jesus had also successfully fought colon cancer – and won.

He made an impression on those who knew him. Sol Caceres, who worked with his daughter at Woolworth, described it this way: “I only met this man once. More than 10 years ago at his daughter Victoria's wedding. He looked so elegant and debonare walking his daughter down the isle. He was the strong silent type with a lot of love and passion for his family in his heart.”

Originally from Riobamba, Ecuador, Jesus had come to New York more than 30 years earlier, hoping to earn a good living for his family. He lived by himself, sometimes working as many as three jobs at a time, waiting for the time that he could be reunited with his family.

When he first brought his wife and daughter to the States, Jesus still had three children back in Ecuador. The entire family was reunited once he could support them in his new home.

Jesus had been a cook since he was young. He worked in an Italian restaurant for over a decade. While working as the main cook for Manhattan’s Grace Hotel, he had also worked part-time at Windows on the World, high at the top of the World Trade Center. After the hotel was sold, he went to work full time at Windows on the World.

Returning home from work, he would often make his wife’s favorite Ecuadoran dish. On the way to work, his habit was to pause to ask his wife for a blessing. He would then kiss her good-bye, and head off.

On a sunny September morning in 2001, he was in a rush. Late for the morning shift, he did not ask for her blessing, did not give her a good-bye kiss.

Jesus’ grandson David was expecting his “Papi” to attend a soccer game that weekend. But that was not to be.

Mere hours later, Jesus would be gone, The horrific circumstances are well known. The airplanes. The destruction.

What is, sadly, less well known, is the simple joy that Jesus Cabezas brought to the lives he touched. Friends and family would recall that he “smiled about everything.” Coming to the States, he had worked hard, and found joy in doing so. His family had urged him to retire, to move somewhere quiet. But he had refused, saying “I’m a city boy.” He loved his job high above New York City as much as he loved the city itself.

Jesus was one of those quiet heroes, ordinary, every day people who don’t win medals, who don’t see their names in lights. They are heroes in their little circles, heroes to family and friends, to co-workers, to customers, to neighbors. They are the unsung heroes whose flames are small, but burn brightly in their little corners of the world, and far outlast a life that loved ones see as far too short.

September 11, 2001, Jesus N. Cabezas lost his life in the attack on the World Trade Center. But in the hearts of those who knew him, that light lives on.

September 11th Memorial
A Nation of Immigrants Rebuilds - Jesus Cabezas
9-11 Victim Memorial - Jesus Cabezas
Guest Book - Jesus Cabezas

Other Posts in honor of the 2,996

Join the 2996 Project

Memorial quilt photo courtesy of

The 2996 Project - Bradley J. Fetchet

This post stays at the top of this blog until 9/12/06

Although the events of 9/11 occurred in New York, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania, many other states, and even other countries, were hit hard that day.

My home state of Connecticut was keenly affected by that day. 152 of our own were lost.

One of those my state mourns is Bradley J. Fetchet.

Brad Fetchet touched many lives. After that fateful September day, his family would begin to learn just how many. "In the first week, thousands of people came," his mother would remark in a Hartford Courant interview. "He had friends going from hospital to hospital, going to the Armory to fill out a missing person's report. One of his friends set up a Web site. I have baskets full of letters from kids that I don't even know."

He had moved to Manhattan in 1999, and worked as an equities trader with Keefe, Bruyette and Woods, on the 89th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

Despite the sometimes cutthroat nature of that business, Brad was known as a kind, generous young man. He would come home to attend his younger brothers' sporting events, or to take them to games. The young man who preferred to let his birthday go by without celebration needed no special occasion to give to others. He would surprise his parents with gifts -

He liked to surprise his parents, like the time this summer he bought a DVD
player and the movie "Gladiator" for his father, set it up and paused at the
most exciting scene. "He called Frank into the family room and said, 'I have
something to show you,'" his mother recalled. "He laid back on the sofa with
that big smile of his and pressed the button ... He had the best smile."
(Hartford Courant)

He was the go-to guy in his family for setting up the electronics or fixing a problem with the computer.

He was an accomplished athelete, who had played both hockey and lacrosse in highschool and college.

And he was looking towards his future. He and girlfriend Brooke had been shopping for engagement rings only days before.

In a day filled with horror and chaos, Bradley had calmly telephoned his family at about 9 am to let them know that he was OK. He called his father, and then left messages for his mother and his girlfriend.

That is the last that anyone heard from him. At 9:02:54 am, United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower, between the 78th and 84th floors. Within an hour, that tower would collapse.

His family has decided to honor Brad by establishing a scholarship fund in his memory. Though Brad has left us, his generosity lives on in the Bradley J. Fetchet Memorial Foundation

Links: - Bradley James Fetchet
Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods - 9/11
Deft Athelete Was a Role Model to Many
Voices of September 11 (Brad's mother is the Founding Director)
Connecticut's Living Memorial
Connecticut's Official List of Victims
Connecticut Remembers 9/11
Other Posts in honor of the 2,996

Join the 2996 Project

Memorial quilt photo courtesy of

My 9/11

From a post I had done regarding the movie "Flight 93," here is my recollection of that day:

I remember that day so clearly - the way people of my grandparents' generation remember Pearl Harbor; the way my mother remembers JFK's assassination. Before 9/11, the closest thing my generation had was the Challenger disaster - and though I can still remember hearing about that, coming back from lunch in my senior year of high school, there is nothing that can compare to that awful day in September.

I could feel my heart speeding up at the initial scenes of travellers in the airport. As someone who flies regularly for business, 9/11 is always at the back of my mind. I now watch other passengers more - I'm far more aware of who's on my plane and what they're doing.

When the scenes of the Trade Center being hit were on the TV, it only got worse. I remembered the conversation with my husband that morning.

"Hey, hon - have you got the radio on?"

I didn't - usually I did, but for some reason, I hadn't put it on that morning. "No, why?"

"A plane just hit the World Trade Center. They think it's a Cessna or something."

"Are you kidding me?"

"No. I just heard it on the radio." He paused for a brief moment. "Yeah, they just said it again. I don't know what those air traffic controllers are doing..."

"No..." A sickening feeling was beginning to take over my stomach. "Brian, if they were headed to JFK...they'd be able to see where they's a clear day and JFK is right there."

"Now they're saying it might be a big plane. You have a TV there, don't you?"

"Yeah...I'll go turn it on now."

I went to turn the TV on, and the horror began. I'd grabbed the cordless phone, too, and almost dropped it. The image on the TV was unbelievable. Flame, smoke...they were talking with a terrorism expert. He was saying that he thought we were watching a terrorist attack, that this didn't look like an accident to him. And the anchors were asking what made him think that.

And then the second plane went in.

As my mind tried feebly to comprehend what it was seeing, the terrorism expert said. "There's no doubt now."

And I started crying as my blood ran cold.

I had been scheduled to meet my friend and colleague that day, to work on a project. I called my husband quickly to tell him what was going on. "A second plane went's a terrorist attack..."

I drove the 20 minutes to meet my friend, the radio on, trying to reach her on the cell phone, but service in Connecticut was disrupted. When I finally reached my friend, she explained what had kept her - I had forgotten something.

Her brother was a pilot. Flying, as a rule, the Newark to San Francisco route. She told me they were trying to figure out if her brother was flying that day - if he had just gone into the Trade Center. She'd be there when she could.

She arrived a while later - they still didn't know about her brother. We sat and watched the Towers fall, and she turned to me and said, "There's no more World Trade Center. It's gone."

And there was the Pentagon - and that field in Pennsylvania. All was chaos and absolute, unspeakable horror. We were both in tears. And it wasn't until about 1:30 that she found out that her brother had not been flying that day.

It wasn't until late that evening that we found out that a highschool friend of my husband's, who had worked in an office in the Trade Center, was now in a different office.

I can remember how quiet the skies were - we were used to planes frequently overhead, and now there were none. No planes, little traffic, everyone with a stunned expression. It was incomprehensible.

And once the fear left, there was the rage, and the grief. I remember sitting in a parking lot listening to the President's speech. I remember finding comfort in it, clinging to the words delivered with calm resolve.

I was on a plane shortly after flights resumed. I had made the decision to fly again, despite my fear. I had been booked on a business trip to Las Vegas - they asked me if I was still willing to fly. When they first asked, I honestly didn't know. I made the decision to get on a plane again, because in the end, I was not going to let terrorists decide how I lived my life. It was my very small way of fighting back.

Vegas was eerie - there was no one there. No one in line at the buffets, no one at the nickel slots, no one at the shows. No one. And security was intense. Everyone was incredibly anxious.

I've often told my anti-war acquaintances, when they ask me if I've ever thought about why I support our actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, that yes, I do - every day. Every time I write to a hero, every time I post the news, the photos, the stories, the names, I re-evaluate my feelings on what we're doing. Every day I ask myself if I believe we should be in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And every time I come to the same decision - Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

Never again can we wait to be attacked. Never again can we allow those who support terrorists to strike us first. Never again should we be ambushed. Never can we forget exactly who these people are.

Click the photo for the story behind it.

SOLDIERS QUESTION IRAQIS — U.S. Army Lt. Col. James A. Howard and Capt. Al Lemaire, both with 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, question an Iraqi resident after finding sniper bullets in Diwaniwah, Iraq, Sept. 3, 2006. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Sandra M. Palumbo

In Today's News - Monday, September 11, 2006

Quote of the Day
"My stay in Hanoi was very brief and I am trying to forget about it as
quickly as I can. When I think of the faith, courage, strength, and
devotion to America displayed by those POWs who spent so many long years in
Hell, I am awed beyond words and I tend to think of my own experience as
being insignificant beyond mention. Those guys are my heroes."

-- Former POW Jerome Donald Heeren, USAF

News of Note
President Visits Ground Zero
Lays wreaths honoring victims
Site Posts Pre-Sept. 11 Al Qaeda Video's Sept. 11 Center
Video: President Bush Visits Ground Zero
Video: New Bin Laden Tape Surfaces
ABC makes some changes to 9/11 series
Bush Plans Prime Time 9/11 Address
Pentagon 9/11 Victims Honored
Four Planes, Two Towers and 148 Minutes
President, First Lady Lay Wreaths
Enormous Damage Done to al Qaeda Since 9/11, Cheney Says
Solemn 9/11 Anniversary Observed
Continuing the Hunt Five Years Later
US Likely to be Hit Again
Bush to Tour 9/11 Sites
The Hole in the City's Heart
Walk Honors Pentagon Fallen
Cheney Hails 'Progress' Since 9/11

Operation Iraqi Freedom
Iraq Delays Debate Over Federalism Bill Again
U.N. and donors prepare road map for rebuilding Iraq
Iraqi leader details oil output strategy
Rice: Do not relent in fighting Iraq war

Operation Enduring Freedom
94 Taliban Die in Afghan Strike
Suicide bomber kills Afghan provincial governor
GIs hunt al-Qaida in Afghan mountains

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Two Kuwaitis to leave Guantanamo soon: group
Somalia station shut down for love songs

Mid-East Ceasefire
Blair Travels to West Bank

Worldwide Wackos
Diplomats: Iran Considering Suspending Enrichment
Moves mulled after upbeat Iran-EU talks
Abbas says ready to hold talks with Olmert - Video
EU, Asian Leaders to N. Korea: Don't Stir Up Nuke Tensions
Japan to launch spy satellite to watch North Korea
Castro May Miss Summit

Politics / Government
Cheney offers to bet on congressional Republicans
Cheney defends hardline White House role

U.N. News
U.S. global cop role to be denounced

Mother Nature
Florence Becomes Hurricane
Quake Hits Gulf of Mexico
6.0 Gulf quake felt from La. to Fla.

No swastika mittens for NATO leaders

Fox News
Atlantis' Thermal Skin OK
Cop Killer Suspect 'Bucky' Feared Extended Sentence
Survey: Gas Down 22 Cents

Reuters: Top News
Mexico's left gives way to army
Grandpa marches on DC for clean air and safe schools
Astronauts check space shuttle for damage
Cleaner air possible in HK in 2 years - thinktank
Pitt humbled by non-actors in "Babel"
So many fall shows, so few chances of a hit
Lower oil may help; inflation data on tap - Video
Volt Information shares fall as Q3 earnings miss estimates - Video
Cascade shares rise on strong results
Luna Innovations shares tumble on lower 2006 outlook
Sony hits stumbling blocks
U.S. committed to reviving world trade talks: USTR
HP board to reconvene late Monday
OPEC, on steady course in 2006, looks beyond
Nasdaq says targets a broad range of China firms
FedEx pilots council approves tentative contract
Stanley to agree $1.1bln offer from Genting: report

AP World News
No word on HP chairwoman's fate
Peyton's Colts best Eli's Giants 26-21
Nation's crime rate hits 32-year low
Bears hand Favre 1st shutout of career
Emma Thompson gets inside Ferrell's head
Atlantis prepares to make giant delivery
Palmer sharp as Bengals down Chiefs
Pope warns of tuning out Christianity
OPEC signals quota change is unlikely
'Covenant' debuts on top of box office
Ohio State tightens its hold on No. 1
Popular Christian books spawn video game
Atlantis Now Headed for Space Station - Video
Army Touts Recruiting Turnaround
Thirty Taliban Killed in Afghanistan

CENTCOM: News Releases




Wireless for the Warfighter capability fills communication gaps for warfighter - podcast Northrop-Grumman will support command's joint training mission

Department of Defense
U.S. Right to Overthrow Saddam - Story
For Top News Visit DefenseLink

Technicians Ensure U-2 Airplanes Ready for Flight - Story
Officials Award Health-Care Clinic Contracts - Story
Marines Work to Enhance Communications - Story

U.S. Personnel Open Restored Water Well
Tameem Railway Station Receives Upgrades
Iraqis Disregard Threats to Repair Damaged Roads
New Iraqi Recruits Show Courage and Honor
Residents Find Relief, Security as Ops Expand
Iraqi Troops Learn to Detect Explosives

Legacy of Fallen Citadel Graduate Lives On
Coalition Forces Deliver Cement to Afghan Village
Reconstruction Team Donates Prayer Rugs

20 Servicemembers Become U.S. Citizens in Africa

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut
An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul


Today in History
1609 - Henry Hudson discovers Manhattan island
1709 - English, Dutch & Austrians defeat French in Battle of Malplaquet
1773 - Benjamin Franklin writes "There never was a good war or bad peace."
1777 - Battle of Brandywine, Pa; Americans lose to British
1786 - Annapolis Convention to determine interstate commerce
1789 - Alexander Hamilton appointed Secretary of the Treasury
1814 - Battle of Lake Champlain, NY; Americans defeat British
1853 - 1st electric telegraph in use, Merchant's Exchange to Pt Lobos
1875 - 1st newspaper cartoon strip
1885 - Moses Hopkins, named minister to Liberia
1910 - 1st commercially successful electric bus line opens (Hollywood)
1919 - US marines invade Honduras
1922 - British mandate of Palestine begins
1923 - The ZR-1 (biggest active dirigible) flies over NY's tallest skyscraper, the Woolworth Tower
1926 - Aloha Tower dedicated in Honolulu
1929 - SF Mayor Rolph inaugurates new pedestrian traffic light system
1930 - Stomboli volcano (Sicily) throws 2-ton basaltic rocks 2 miles
1936 - FDR dedicates Boulder Dam, now known as Hoover Dam
1941 - Charles Lindbergh, charges "the British, the Jewish & the Roosevelt administration" are trying to get the US into WW II; FDR orders any Axis ship found in American waters be shot on sight
1944 - FDR & Churchill meet in Canada at the 2nd Quebec Conference
1946 - 1st mobile long-distance car-to-car telephone conversation
1950 - 1st typesetting machine to dispense with metal type exhibited
1950 - Dick Tracy TV show sparks uproar concerning violence
1951 - Florence Chadwick becomes 1st woman to swim the English Channel from England to France. It takes 16 hours & 19 minutes
1952 - West German Chancellor Adenauer signs a reparation pact for Jews
1960 - The 17th Olympic games close in Rome
1967 - US Surveyor 5 makes 1st chemical analysis of lunar material
1973 - Chile's President, Salvador Allende, deposed in a military coup
1985 - Intl Cometary Explorer (ISEE 3) passes Giacobini-Zinner by 7900 km
1986 - Dow Jones Industrial Avg suffered biggest 1-day decline ever, plummeting 86.61 points to 1,792.89. 237.57 million shares traded
1989 - Drexel formally pleads guilty to security fraud
1991 - 14 die in a Continental Express commuter plane crash near Houston
2001 - The worst terrorist attack on American soil - 2819+ die as a result of hijacked airplane attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Western Pennsylvania

1835 - Brigadier General William Wirt Allen, 1st Alabama Cavalry
1862 - O Henry (pen name of William Sidney Porter), short story writer
1877 - Sir James Jeans England, physicist/mathematician/astronomer
1909 - William Natcher (Rep-KY)
1917 - Ferdinand Marcos, Philippines Pres (1965-86)
1922 - Charles Evers, civil rights leader (Amazing Grace)
1924 - Daniel Kahikina Akaka (Rep-HI); Tom Landry NFL player (NY Giants), coach (Dallas Cowboys)
1928 - Reubin Askew (Gov-Fla)
1932 - Herbert "Sonny" Leon Callahan (Rep-AL); Robert Packwood (Sen-OR); Valentino, Italian fashion designer (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis)
1935 - Gherman Titov (USSR), 1st man to spend a day in space (Vostok 2)
1937 - Robert Crippen, Capt USN/astronaut (STS 1, 7, 41C, 41G)

1712 - GD Cassini, French astronomer
1948 - Quaid-i-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah
1971 - Nikita Khrushchev, of a heart attack at 77
1988 - Luis W. Alvarez, physicist (Nobel-1968), at 77

Reported Missing in Action
Anspach, Robert A., US Army SF (GA); KIA / BNR

Overly, Norris M., USAF (WV); B57 crashed (w/Petersen) - released February, 1968

Petersen, Gaylord Dean, USAF (CA); B57 crashed (w/Overly) remains returned August, 1978

Vandyke, Richard H., USAF (UT); F4D shot down, died of injuries - remains returned July, 1981

Helwig, Roger D., USAF (CO); F4D shot down (w/Stearns)

Stearns, Roger H., USAF (CO); F4D shot down (w/Helwig) - remains returned May, 1990

Plassmeyer, Bernard H., USMC (MO); A4E killed, presumed Killed

Heeren, Jerome D., USAF (SD); F4E shot down (w/Ratzlaff), released March, 1973 - alive as of 1996

Ratzlaff, Brian M., USAF (CA); F4E shot down (pilot, w/Heeren), released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Captain - alive as of 1998