I originally published this tribute on September 11, 2006 as part of the 2,996 project, which — sadly — now seems gone as well. I am reposting my tribute to one of the victims, Brett T. Bailey, in keeping my promise to never forget the individuals who lost their lives 12 years ago today. For more information about how the lives of those lost are being remembered, please visit the 9/11 Memorial Museum.
When I decided to join the 2,996 project, I found myself once again torn emotionally by the events that happened five years ago. To focus on a single individual, however, was more overwhelming than I could have ever imagined.
After i agreed to do this, and I hit the return key to find out who I would be remembering on my blog, I wasn’t ready for the rush of feelings that hit me.
Nothing, though, could have prepared me for seeing that first picture of Brett, a life filled with love and energy, great plans and dreams, all taken from him and his countless friends and family that will forever miss him and hold him dearly in their hearts.
Like a magnifying glass concentrating all the sun’s rays into a fine stream of light, I guess that seeing Brett’s picture brought the intensity and the magnitude of 9/11/2001 to me through his eyes.
It mattered. It matters still. And we will never forget. Despite all of the political maneuverings and mishaps and disasters that have come upon us in these past five years, one thing is certain: Nothing, or nobody, can ever diminish the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and nothing, and certainly nobody, can ever erase the memories of the 2,996 individuals who lost their lives on that day.
May we all say it together, keep it forever in our hearts, in 50 years, as strongly as we do today.
We. Will. Never. Forget.
I’ve included some text from a New York Times tribute to Brett printed several years ago, but as you read the words, look deeply into the pictures of Brett that I’ve added from other sites. See the love, the life, the energy, the beauty of a man so young to be taken from us. May God bless him, and may God bless his family and friends, for now, and for always.
Having spent his teenage years near the ocean in Bricktown, N.J., Brett T. Bailey seemed to pass whole seasons wearing a wet suit — whether it was winter, spring, summer or fall. “It was hard to get him out of the water,” said his father, Kevin Bailey. “He loved surfing. He loved swimming. He loved anything athletic. He was very playful.”
Mr. Bailey, 28, worked as a lifeguard when he was a teenager but there was little question that after college he would become a broker, like his father and three uncles before him. “The financial world is kind of in his blood,” Kevin Bailey said. He worked on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange before taking a job as an options broker three years ago with Euro Brokers in 2 World Trade Center.
Mr. Bailey was a determined athlete. He started the summer with a 26 handicap in golf. By September, his handicap was down to 19. “That tells you what he was like when he set his mind to something,” said his father. “But one of the most interesting things about Brett was his ability to make friends very quickly, almost upon meeting them. He had such a diverse group of friends. From the New England fisherman to the Wall Street broker, they were all equal to him.” (source: The New York Times)