|William Abrahamson |
Richard Anthony Aceto
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Donna M. Bernaerts-Kearns
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Sandra Conaty Brace
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|Lillian Caceres |
James Christopher Cappers
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Robert J. Caufield
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Kyung (Casey) Cho
Mannie L. Clark
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Robert A. Hepburn
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Jennifer Lynn Kane
William A. Karnes
Robert C. Kennedy
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Peter A. Klein
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Carol Ann LaPlante
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Ye Wei Liang
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William R. Steiner
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David S. Suarez
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Wayne A. White
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Bruehert, of Westbury, quit flying a year ago, after a year of training, because he thought it was too dangerous of a hobby to have with a wife and two young daughters.
He went on a friend’s sailboat early this summer and decided that sailing would be the perfect thing to do as a family. So, in August, he went to Virginia for three days of intensive sailing lessons and bought a sailboat on Sept. 7. The next day, he and a friend sailed from Connecticut to Long Island on the boat, which he named the Christina Danielle after his daughters.
Bruehert never got a chance to take his family out on the water. He was on a conference call on the 96th floor of Tower One on Sept. 11. Bruehert sent co-workers text messages on their pagers after the airplane hit below him, saying he was trapped. That is the last contact anyone has made with him. Bruehert, a vice president at Marsh & McLennan, was 38.
"His family made him happy," said Bruehert’s wife of eight years, Jo Anne. "He was the only person I know that likes going food shopping with the kids."
Bruehert would be up first thing in the morning on Saturdays and Sundays, and while his wife was still in bed, he’d take Christina 6, and sometimes Danielle, 2, to the grocery store. While he didn’t like shopping, he liked the time alone with his kids.
When he’d return home, Bruehert would often have Christina by his side as he worked in the yard gardening.
"The whole reason he bought the boat was to do family things," his wife said. "I was away in August for about five days, he stayed home with the kids . . . He took Christina out shopping to let her pick out the lifejackets."
Bruehert, who was vice president of the technology group at Marsh & McLennan, had dreamed of one day becoming chief executive of a company. In 1990, he graduated from Adelphi University in Garden City and, in May, he earned a masters of business from the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University in Brookville.
Bruehert met his future wife within a month after they both started working at the same department in computer security at MetLife in Manhattan in 1989. They were married in 1993. He joined Marsh & McLennan in 1997.
There was standing room only at a memorial Mass in Bruehert’s honor Oct. 4 at St. Brigid’s Roman Catholic Church in Westbury.
The sailboat, a 35-foot Hunter with two staterooms and a main salon, is back at the dealer in Milford, Conn., and Bruehert’s daughter Christina is angry that she’ll never get to sail with her dad.
"The baby, she doesn’t know, she’ll just sometimes hear a sound and say that ’Daddy’s home,’" his wife said. "But Christina, she doesn’t want to be at home. ... She can’t understand why they can’t find Daddy."
(c) 2001 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission.
I'll never forget that day. John trying to get you on the phone. The phone calls never answered. It's hard to watch a good friend lose a brother live on TV. I know you will be always missed by your friends and family. I wish I had known you better!
God bless you and yours.
Always At The Helm,
I worked with you briefly. I remember your cheerful greeting every time we met.
Another anniversary has come and gone. I couldn't watch any of the TV, so took the day off and painted my daughter's bedroom. It was theraputic, but didnt stop me thinking about you, your family and the tragic loss that day. I will go to the Shrine of St. Joseph and drop off your flag as I do every year, but I didnt do it on the 11th as they have services and I prefer the quiet time to reflect and remember, rather than get involved with the mainstream. I feel a little closer to you in the quiet time than the services and all that goes with them. At the end of the day you were a pretty simple guy who loved to laugh, loved his family, loved life and its challenges, valued friendship and loved your country. Even all the financial turmoil that is going on today is all just temporary wallpaper compared with your passing. I still miss you and I know the guys from IBM feel the same. Rest easy old friend.
Rest easy cousin - the wind is at your back.
It's been almost seven years since I sat at a service in your name. I'll remember that day forever because it was so hard. You were always in my thoughts, and today in school I googled myself for fun and so many pages came up with your name on them, so I took a peek. There are so many people that care about you, and to read the tribute I wrote when I was only eight made me cry. We always had a special bond, you being my godfather, and just a great uncle. I really miss you. Everyone still does. And I really hope you're resting easy. I'm turning fifteen in two months, and my memories from when I was little are getting vague, but I really hope I'll never forget the ones of you.
I love you so much.
On this sad day, it's just your old buddy from MetLife letting you know that you will never, ever, ever be forgotten. You are in our thoughts often. It was and continues to be an honor to be counted among your friends. The family sends their love to you, and to JoAnn and the girls. From your old pudd'nheaded friend - Mikey.
Another year has gone by. Last year was the first time I went into work at NYC on 9/11, this year I will be in Virginia on business. So I am off to the shrine of St Joseph tonight to pay my respects and leave a flag for you. You are still in my thoughts. Rest easy my friend.
My prayers go out to your family.
I was just outside thinking about what this night was like two years ago. All of us just going about our lives. You had sailed your new boat home over the weekend and had begun another work week. I can't remember if I realized then how good I had it. Not that things have really changed in my day to day life. I still have a great husband, two wonderful sons and am also "living good in America". But there's definitley a sadness and void since you left us. You're not at the family reunion - you weren't at Bernie's wedding - in spirit I know but trust me, it's not the same.
It helps to see that others miss you. I hope you are resting easy. I hope you know how much you were loved. If the measure of a well-lived life is leaving it better for you having been there - well then you have lived well.
Take care cousin,
I'm sorry that this happened to you, and I will never forget you.
You know Mel is undergoing another operation today for her wrist. Please use your influence with our Lord so she'll be ok. She too, like your Joanne, has two little girls to raise and believe me she needs both hands to do it. I speak from experience, after all I raised four.
We had a wonderful St. Patrick's Day celebration up at Aunt Rose's. Your mom was there and I think for a little while she had some laughter and smiles in her life. There has been just too many crosses for her lately. She's very worried about Mel who has become the daughter she never had. She needs her to be ok, so please beg God to help.
You're our angel now so watch over us all and our young men who are fighting this war against terrorism. Let it be finished quickly and let our boys come home to their families soon. Thanks Rich, I love you.
"The Angel Connection Group"
Why did it have to be you?
I'll always remember our lives together and do my best to help Jo and the girls.
I love you, Bill
I work in IT at a sibling company, Mercer Human Resources. You should know that colleagues from around the world are thinking of him, his family, and his coworkers.
Your email friend,
I miss his great sense of humor. He was so excited about buying the boat and becoming a 'certified' sailor. He was really looking forward to getting his family on that boat and having great adventures on the water.
He is missed at Marsh. Its hard to believe he's gone.
My deepest condolences to his family.
Those who did, though, have lost a wonderful son, brother, father, husband, relative, colleague, and friend, and the world has lost an incredible human being. I am sure he is looking out for everyone still, from Heaven, watching over all those he loved, and who loved him.
We grilled burgers in August last year. The girls were running around with Jack. Rich did his best to convince my husband, Carl, that he could install the 24 windows we need to replace. Rich was being such a pill that day! I think of that day, remembering the sunshine, the girls laughter, the normalcy of eating burgers and drinking a cold beer.
I so miss what I call "Rich sounds" -- the hammer, the powersaw. I miss seeing him pick the weeds from his yard. I miss seeing him with Christina or Danielle in his arms.
Rich was so proud of his home and his family. He was a true self made man. Endlessly curious, he was the epitome of the hard working American who can accomplish anything if he works hard.
Joanne is truly amazing. She has dealt with this with so much courage and class. I know that Rich would not have been surprised. Rich must be so proud of her.
I see Christina and Danielle most days. Christina still misses her Daddy, but she and I have talked often about the fact that he is still with her and that he is watching over her. She really would like to talk to him, and is disappointed that God does not have a telephone number.
Danielle took me by surprise a couple of months ago and asked me where Daddy was. I told Danielle that he was in Heaven. He truly is.
The thing is, though, that his knowledge and his expertise, although highly impressive, are not the things I'll always remember him by. (Oh man, how that hurts..."remember him by"...I can't believe that I can't just call him or try to schedule a dinner together with our families....)
We worked together as a team, he and I. But much more importantly, we became friends. After he and JoAnne started dating, I couldn't be happier for the both of them. They were both hooking up with winners. Our friendship lasted beyond his tenure at MetLife, and although we weren't in close contact on a daily basis after he moved on, whenever we did see each other or speak, it seemed like we had seen each other last week.
Whenever Rich thought someone was not thinking clearly, or was not using logic, he would call them "pudd'nheads." Now, this may be small in the grand scheme of things, but every time he said it, I smiled until I began saying it too.
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't find myself affectionately calling someone I know a pudd'nhead. It's just something he and I did as friends. I still do it, and in some small way, I hope he hears me saying it, because I say it as a tribute to a friendship that endures beyond when we worked together, and beyond the date of September 11, 2001. It endures always.
The last time we saw each other was at his house, in February of 2001. His two beautiful girls were meeting my 4 year old daughter. Every night when I put her to bed, I think of Christina and Danielle, and how unbelievably brave JoAnne is. I know JoAnne will say she has to be, but that doesn't make it any easier. She is quite a lady. Rich would be (and IS) proud of her.
I am not ashamed to say I was in tears several times in the days following the tragedy when I learned Rich would not be around to exchange emails, phone calls, or the often-planned-but-too-seldom-executed get togethers.
I know he is watching over JoAnne and his two precious girls, with his Dad looking over his shoulder. I just hope every once in awhile, he can hear an old friend affectionately calling somebody a pudd'nhead....and knowing it's just me remembering how much I loved him.
Until I see you again, my friend, may God Bless you and JoAnne, Christina, and Danielle.
Christine, Maggie and I send all our love to JoAnne and the girls...
There is soo much I want to tell you, but you have heard it all before..I talk to you all the time. I know that you and Dad are together, but call me selfish, we all just wish you were both still here with us. To think of all the things I would do differently, if given a 2nd chance, I would drive myself insane, so I just want you to know this.... We all miss you terribly, and that I Love you.....I know the relationship we had, was never one that wasnt BUMPY, but it was still there.
I think back a lot, on the last family Reunion, and taking the kids fishing...you were just oo funny....all tangled up in the fishing line, while trying to get Christina's pole to work. The look you gave me, when I got it all fixed and ready to go, within 2 minutes time!!!" How did you do that" was all you could say. I just laughed.
I want you to know too, that I will be taking the girls fishing again this year, and hopefully many more to come, along with Jess and Sammy, and that I will be thinking of you every minute we are out there.Maybe we will even CATCH something this time!!!!!
Jess and Sammy ask about you often I try to explain the best way I can, what happened, but how can you explain to an 8y/o and 6 y/o something, you dont understand yourself???? I just tell them, that they can talk to you anytime, because I know you are listening.
I dreamt of you the other night. We were sitting at your dining room table and I was teasing you that in spite of your best efforts you'd always be the 'nice' Bruehert brother. Not that I don't love your brothers or think they're nice, I do, but somehow I always thought you wanted to be a little edgier or a little cooler like them. You were teasing me back for always hightailing it off to a corner at the family reunion with a book. To which I made my typical reply that I didn't know you could read.
We weren't really friendly as young cousins, you growing up on The Island and my family being from New Jersey. Uncle Jimmy Hollywood always used to say he came to New Jersey one day and it was closed. I don't know - he thought it was funny.
But we had the reunions - and thank God because that's where so many of us really got to know each other. It's where you took enough time to come over to me, reading in a corner, and strike up a conversation. A conversation that would turn into a true friendship.
There's been weddings and Christenings and funerals. I can remember the Christmas party at your house the year before Anthony and I got married, you proudly showing off your new bride and your new home. Over the years I saw that home and you change. Every year you'd do a room and it seemed every year you were trying something new - for play, at home or at work. Always growing and always enjoying it. When I was at your house last fall the house was kind of done and it looked beautiful. You looked happy though I knew you weren't just going to kick back and do nothing. And I just got used to the thought of having you and your family and Jim and Bill and their families in my life. We had some great times together the eight of us and the kids getting together for dinner once in awhile. It never would have happened if you and JoAnne hadn't orchestrated it.
I remember you telling me about the flying lessons and me sarcastically asking, "Who the hell would fly with you?" Not rising to the bait you matter-of-factly said, "JoAnne said she'll go up with me when I get my license." And I'm sure she would have if you hadn't decided on some other hobby - sailing - you just blow me away. Always changing always making time for everything school, work, family, friends and enjoying it.
After it happened Rich, I felt like I couldn't breathe. I mean the whole thing is so unbelievable as it is - but then how could someone I love be gone. Someone so good. Someone so young and full of promise. I've said to Anthony, "You know, I feel robbed of the opportunity of growing old with him. I can't imagine how JoAnne feels." Because I thought that you'd always be there Rich. I thought we had 1st Communions and Sweet 16's, dinners and more weddings and even funerals (but not yours). I thought I'd be sitting up on those freaking Catskill Mountains complaining about my dentures and arthritis while you tipped back a cold one and smiled. God willing I'll grow to be an old woman but I'll never get to see you age. Age as your girls grow.
I don't know how she is doing it but when I talk to her, JoAnne is surviving. And I know she has to for herself and for the girls but not everyone is as strong as she is. Be proud.
And your girls Rich, what could I tell you that you don't already know? Christina is a doll - she's been talking like a 40 year-old since she came out of the womb. She looks just like you Rich - I don't know how I'll look at her and not cry, but I will. You and JoAnne know what a beautiful child she is smart, funny - assertive - she knows what she wants and she asks for it. You done good kid.
Danielle, my God, she's just a baby and reminds me so much of JoAnne. When I went to see them after the tragedy they even had the same haircuts! Cute as a button she is.
So that's it. I don't know, Rich I feel like a can breath again but things will never be the same and that has been hard to accept. I miss you desperately and hope that you know that I love you. I feel the best way I can honor your life is by living mine - waste no time on the unnecessary - make enough time to play.
May the wind be always at your back cousin,
Thanks to Rich I made it through grad school! I was down to my last few credits with no time left to finish and did I mention I was pregnant! I felt horrible and tired. I wanted to do everything yet seemed to be accomplishing nothing. Thanks to him, our "study" group excelled. I not only got through grad school, I got two As, laughed, and made a wonderful friend.
I truly miss him. He took care of us girls in the group, even walked us to our cars.
If there was a way you could read this, I would say this to you.....you would be so proud of your wife and kids. Jo Anne has carried herself with grace and dignity and would make you so proud. I know she thinks about you everyday, and I know you are her special angel guiding her and girls, everyday.
May the Love of our Lord and Savior have granted you peace during those last moments, and may you be resting in our Eternal Father's arms.
Charlene in TN
I imagine you were met by your Dad, my Dad, and Uncle Jimmy Allen. That picture brings a little comfort when I can't make sense of loosing you. I wish I had told you that I admire and respect you. I do.
As the reunion approaches, I think of you more each day. There's part of me that looks forward to seeing you there, even if it's through your Mom, your brothers, and your girls. I love you, and I miss you. Kathleen
Rich was generally quiet. He always had a smile on his face and more than anything he loved his family. He was a devoted son. His dad had died less than a year ago (November 2000) and we knew that Rich missed him very deeply. After his dad's death he took over as financial advisor for his mom and was there for her on a weekly basis.
Rich loved going on the annual family outtings with his fammily. He was very close to his brothers. We enjoyed watching his interaction with his family. They are a jovial bunch. Wonderful people!
Because of distance we were never as close as we would have liked, especially to be with the kids. We never knew until the memorial Mass about how much Rich loved taking Christina food shoping. We never knew about how he and Christina would ride bikes together around the neighborhood. We knew about the snow shoveling with Christina and the gardening and we knew how much he loved his children just by watching him watch them.
Susan and I think and speak about Rich often among ourselves. Sue remarked about how on September 9th she observed Rich watching Danielle (his youngest daughter) open and close the French doors leading out to mom & dad's deck. How this little 2 year old was experimenting with how the door locked. And Sue said "you had to see the look of love and pride on Rich's face as he watched his daughter open and close that door".
I enjoy watching the home movies we have of Rich and every movie has Rich keeping a close watch on his kids. How he loved his daughters!
As I am typing this with a mixture of tears and smiles Sue told me another story about Rich. We were all at cousin Carolyn's wedding. While everyone was up dancing Rich was at the table fumbling with something on his lap. Sue went over to the table and aked Rich what he was looking at. He had that usual Rich grin on his face. He was looking through Haloween pictures of the kids. Typical Rich - always thinking about his girls.
I worked in Tower 2. I was late that day and from the bus I saw what had happened. Sue and I were talking on the phone and watching what was developing (Sue watching on TV at the house and me stuck on a bus across the river)we prayed for Rich that day. We hoped for him in vain.
I pass the site of Ground Hero (as Cardinal Egan calls it) every day. I work downtown and there is a tremendous sense of loss. Not just for the buildings but for the thousands of people who are no longer there. The memorials decorate Broadway (the canyon of heros) and our family, friends, coworkers and neighbors will NEVER be forgotten!
I pray for the whole family every day and now as I pass the former site of WTC I say extra prayers for Rich and all the people who were lost that day and the surviving family. They did not die in vain. Each father, mother, son and daughter was a hero to someone. Rich is a hero to his wife and his daughters, his mom and his brothers. They too remain in my thoughts and prayers every day. He worked hard to give his family the best. He left them and the world a wonderful legacy. Christina and Danielle will always know how much their daddy loves them. We will keep his memory alive and his smiling face (smiling over his children) is how Sue and I will alwyas remember him.
Eternal rest grant to Richard O Lord and let Perpetual Light shine upon him. May the Divine assistance be always with him and may the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.
I will truly miss the life we would have had. I love you rich always