Monday, September 11, 2006
Nine Eleven Plus Five
Video clip courtesy brain terminal.
In the days that followed the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the stories that begged to be told filled the airwaves and inundated the cable news channels. Among them was an interview by CNN's Larry King, of the man who built the securities firm known as Cantor Fitzgerald, which was based in the Towers. But it obviously wasn't the business for which he mourned. Here was a man who had a vision, and had the cameraderie of those who worked alongside him, to create that which would be larger than themselves, something that would be a testament to their labors, and provide for the well-being and security of their families. But here in this interview was a man who had lost all who were dear to him, his faithful comrades. How could he face these families who lost their loved ones; indeed, how could he face his own?
Among those who worked shoulder-to-shoulder with him, who shared in this vision, was the senior vice president and chief financial officer, Jeffrey Grant Goldflam, forty-eight years of age, from Melville, New York. Goldflam was in the Towers at the time they fell, and is among the list of 2,996 people confirmed dead.
For this writer, little can be ascertained about the life of this man. But someone, one Robert Kayton, was kind enough to leave this testimony:
"When I was in college, Jeff gave me a ride home to New York City when I really needed one. He was really easygoing and friendly and helpful. I did not really know Jeff -- except for those five hours I spent with him on the way home to New York City. I got to know Jeff a little in those five hours riding home, and I could tell he was a really good guy. I never forgot the time I spent with him and a few other students going home that day. I would run into Jeff on campus and he always said hello. That was almost 30 years ago, but I never forgot that trip I took home with Jeff (at the wheel). We all had such a good time. We even stopped and had lunch at a restaurant -- as though we had all known each other for years. We all had such a good time joking around about college and life in general. It was the most enjoyable ride home I ever took. That's why I remember it. Jeff went out of his way to make everyone feel welcome... I hope his family is doing okay, but I do not think any of us are okay after Sept 11th."
No, I don't think many of us will be. This testimony closes with a poem from the one who loved him the most, Rise Goldflam:
Jeff, my love, my life....
we miss you so very much.
you are forever in our hearts.
your strength and love carry us through each day.
we will never be the same without you.
thank you for the love, wisdom, and honesty
you shared with us.
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The above was prepared in cooperation with 2996, a collaboration of volunteer bloggers who are paying tribute to victims of 9/11, under the kind direction of D Challener Roe. At 9:37 this morning, this writer will join his fellow-employees in the center lobby of the Federal building where he works, in the shadow of the White House, for a moment of silence.