Associated Press (December 17, 2001)
CHICAGO (AP) - They were, as a group, young. One-third were in their
Many had launched successful careers and were building young
families. Some were immigrants, working hard to make it in America while
still supporting relatives back home. Others - 366 men and women -
dedicated their lives to rescue and protection as New York firefighters
and police officers.
All were in the path of terrorism Sept. 11.
Although exactly how many died remains unclear three months later,
officials have placed the toll in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania
at more than 3,000.
The victims lived in almost 800 cities and towns in 40 states and the
District of Columbia, and were citizens of at least 26 foreign
countries, an Associated Press database indicates. More than 2,170 of
them were men.
The average age of all of those killed was 40. Some 1,050 victims
were in their 30s.
They worked for more than 330 companies, as executives, food service
workers, brokers, carpenters, electricians, janitors and security
The human toll at some individual companies was numbing.
The financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald lost more than 650
people. The New York Fire Department lost 343. Marsh & McLennan Cos.
Inc., a professional services firm, says it lost 295 people.
The city of New York was home to almost 1,100 victims. Some New
Jersey towns were especially hard hit: Hoboken lost 43, Jersey City, 37,
Middletown, 24, Basking Ridge, 18.
The number of foreign nationals who died remains inexact. But among
them were some 120 citizens from 26 countries from Australia and Great
Britain to Peru and China.
The youngest to die was 2-year-old Christine Lee Hanson, of Groton,
Massachusetts. The oldest was 85-year-old Robert Norton of Lubec, Maine.
Both were passengers on planes that flew into the twin towers.
The AP database was constructed with information from medical
examiners, legal records, funeral homes, places of worship, obituaries,
employers, public agencies, families, friends and the AP's foreign
It helps tell part of the story of the people who died. But there's
much more to be told:
CAPT. JOSEPH FARRELLY
New York Fire Department Capt. Joseph Farrelly was romantic - and
proud of it.
Married to Stacey Farrelly for more than 22 years, he still left love
notes on her pillow or on the seat of her car. Often, they were
accompanied by flowers.
So before Farrelly went to work for what would be the last time, he
wrote Stacey one final note.
``I can't begin to tell you how much I love you. Words are
inadequate. Already I can't wait to get home,'' he wrote.
Farrelly, 47, of New York, is among 343 firefighters lost in the
World Trade Center attacks.
A 22-year veteran of the department, Farrelly had faced danger at the
World Trade Center before, hospitalized for smoke inhalation after it
was bombed in 1993. But he loved his job.
``That's all he ever wanted to do,'' Stacey Farrelly said.
As for the frequent love notes, ``I kind of thought everybody did
this,'' she said.
She's kept them all. The last note he wrote is now framed in their
An immigrant from Ecuador, Manuel Asitimbay wanted his slice of the
A prep cook at the Windows on the World restaurant atop the World
Trade Center, he hoped for his own home in the United States. But most
of all, he wanted to bring his family from Ecuador to New York.
When Asitimbay died, he left behind a wife and son in New York, twin
sons and his wife's son in Ecuador. All of them counted on him for
emotional and financial support.
Asitimbay, 36, came to the United States in 1989, followed by his
wife, Carmen Mejia, in 1995.
``He wanted to give a better future for his family,'' his wife said
through a translator.
Asitimbay was undocumented, as is his wife. Their immigration status
means Mejia may not get some of the same benefits that other victims'
families received, said Dennis Diaz, lead organizer for Asitimbay's
union, Local 100 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees
Mejia spoke publicly about her situation in early December at the
AFL-CIO's convention in Las Vegas.
``She hopes that other undocumented families will see the courage of
what she's doing and come forward also,'' Diaz said.
Since the attacks, Mejia's three other children have arrived in New
York from Ecuador and the union is working to get them permanent
The hope, Diaz said, is to fulfill Asitimbay's wish to ``live the
SGT. 1ST CLASS JOSE ORLANDO CALDERON
Army Sgt. 1st Class Jose Orlando Calderon had hoped to retire from
the Army next year after 20 years of service. It was a job that had
sometimes taken him away from home, and ``I don't like to stay alone,''
says his wife, Gloria Calderon.
A native of Puerto Rico, Calderon, 44, had held his Pentagon post in
the office of the deputy chief of staff for personnel for less than two
years. He is one of 125 people who lost their lives on the ground at the
Pentagon on Sept. 11.
Gloria Calderon met her husband through friends while she was living
``He was a gentleman,'' she said. And he looked good to her, too.
They married in 1991, not long after they met, and just three days
before he left for duty in the Persian Gulf. Gloria Calderon lives with
their children, 10-year-old Vanessa and 3-year-old Jose, in Annandale,
``It's very difficult to understand everything that happened,'' she
JOHN RESTA and SYLVIA SAN PIO
John Resta and his wife, Sylvia San Pio, were preparing the nursery
for the birth in November of their first child. They didn't know the
gender, but had narrowed their list of names to include Dylan, for a
boy, and Julia, for a girl.
``They were really excited for the baby,'' said San Pio's sister,
Laura San Pio.
Resta, 40, and San Pio, 26, were among 69 Carr Futures employees and
hundreds of others in the financial industry who died in the attacks.
The couple, who lived in New York, married in the summer of 2000 and
were an excellent match, said Resta's sister Chris Mazzeo.
``They were just so much in love,'' she said. ``John doted on her
every little whim.''
Resta was ready to be a dad, a role he had plenty of training for
with 10 nieces and nephews. Each year, he'd fill in at Grandparents Day
at Mazzeo's children's school in New Jersey, because both sets of
grandparents live out of state.
Laura San Pio said her sister had everything going for her: She had a
career, was married, happy and expecting a baby.
``Any time to die is the worse time. For them, it was awful,'' she
said. ``They were just starting their life.''
Felicia Traylor-Bass, 38, was the office manager at Alliance
Consulting and worked at the World Trade Center. She is one of the more
than 600 women killed in the attacks.
At age 2, her son Sebastian knows something is wrong.
``He looks at the pictures and he sees her and he points to Mommy,''
said Andrew Bass, who lives in New York. ``He knows she's not here, but
he's too young to really understand why.''
Bass is preparing for the day when Sebastian can better understand
his mother's death. To help, he is putting together two scrapbooks for
his son: one that describes his mother's life, and one that describes
with photos and news accounts what happened on Sept. 11.
Sebastian's second birthday was in November, and Bass had a party for
``I just can't believe she's not here for this,'' he said.
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