Now, we're not supposed to post our tributes until that day and then bloggers all around the world are supposed post our stories on that day. The only problem is that we are short members (we need more bloggers to fulfill the 2,996 names on the list and, as of the time I signed up, we are short 800 people) so if you are reading this, and are a blogger, please go to http://www.dcroe.com/2996/ and sign up so you can participate too.
My memorial is for Nicholas W. Brandemarti, a young man who lost his life on tower 2 on September 11, 2001. I've researched him and found that he had a very loving family: His parents, Nick and Nancy, and his brother and sister, as well as extended family and friends that loved, respected, adored him and miss him very much. The following was written about Nicholas after the towers came down:
December 31, 2001
After recently finishing Pat Croce's "110 Stategies for Feeling Great Every Day," and countless other books on motivation and leadership over the years, inspiration, guidance and just being a friend came easy to Nicholas Brandemarti.
Appointed a student coach of the Fordham University football team in his senior year, the former fullback who was sidelined because of numerous concussions used his new position to help teammates who needed academic tutoring or advice, his mother, Nancy Brandemarti, said. "He would always be there to offer help, and was always so compassionate," she said.
Brandemarti, 22, of West Deptford, N.J., an analyst for Keefe, Bruyette & Woods on the 89th floor of the south tower, is presumed dead in the terrorist attacks. He was last heard from shortly after the first plane hit, his mother said.
He had called home out of concern for his father, who had undergone triple bypass surgery a few weeks before. "He called us to find out how his father was, and to tell us that he was OK," his mother said. "He said they were waiting to be evacuated."
He was born in Voorhies, N.J., in 1979, and his family moved to West Deptford when Brandemarti was still a child, his mother said. He graduated from West Deptford High School in 1997. Elected captain of the football team in his senior year, Brandemarti took the job to heart, his mother said. "He really used it as a way to motivate people," she said. She credited her son's high school football coach, Clyde Folsom, with teaching him how to balance academics and athletics early on.
Always the youngest in his class, Brandemarti graduated from Fordham's College of Business with a bachelor's degree in finance in May, at age21.
Brandemarti was like a sponge, his mother said, absorbing as much as he could about everything. He took scuba diving lessons, juggled a successful academic and athletic career, and read voraciously.
She said she misses her son's smile.
"He was always a really positive person," she said. "And it rubbed off on everyone he met."
I did not know Nicholas, and I will, most likely, never know his family or friends, but I can tell you this... he is missed and he is thought about, even by strangers. You cannot be the type of person he obviously was and not be missed. He was special and who knows how far his talents would have taken him. He was a life cut short.
We have a Jewish saying... may you go from strength to strength. That is my wish for those of you who knew and miss and mourn for Nicholas. May you be blessed with love and knowledge that you did a great job with this young man and may you find peace.