Friday, September 08, 2006

2996 - A Tribute to John. F. Swaine

Please don’t click away. That’s your first instinct, I know.

I understand. It’s uncomfortable, painful even, to read a tribute to someone who died on September 11, 2001. This is not a religious or political statement. It is a testament to our humanity, to show respect for the life of a fellow human being. A life that felt love...and laughter...and pain. Life is fleeting for all of us. Please...take a moment to honor this one.

He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This post will remain alone on my home page until September 15, 2006


From the NY TImes
John Swaine was the consummate Wall Street bond trader: "Aggressive and full of boundless energy," said his brother-in-law, Richard McGuire. He worked at Cantor Fitzgerald for about 10 years.
"He really loved his work," Mr. McGuire said. "He worked hard and played hard."
But he wanted to share the wealth. He helped his brother-in-law, John Reo, get a job at Cantor, trading bonds. They worked and died together on the 104th floor.
Mr. Swaine, 37, of Larchmont, N.Y., may have loved the Street but he did not fall for the trappings. He preferred to help his extended family, and to spend money on his wife of 13 years, Suzanne, and three daughters.
"He rarely spent any money on himself," Mr. McGuire said. "He provided his family with a beautiful home. But he was unassuming. He didn't have fancy cars or suits. He took the subway from the train every day. Everything he did, he did it for his family."

From Wall of Americans
John F. Swaine and John A. Reo were brothers-in-law and bond traders. Swaine, 36, of Larchmont, N.Y., was married to the sister of Reo, 28, a University of Notre Dame graduate. Both worked at Cantor Fitzgerald Securities on the 104th floor of the trade center. "We lost our son and our son-in-law together," Reo's mother, Judith, said softly. "We're in the process now of planning two funerals. It's unreal.” Swaine was the father of three girls--Sarah, 11; Emily, 9; and Hanna, 5. He had worked at Cantor Fitzgerald for more than 10 years, Judith Reo said. Her son, however, had started at the firm in May. John Reo recently had moved to Larchmont and was staying with his sister, Suzanne, and Swaine. Larchmont was especially hard hit by the attacks, Judith Reo said. "The whole community has so many losses that it's incredible," she said. "They're all young men, and a lot of the families are without dads today."

From his hometown newspaper
(September 11, 2004) A plaque, a stone, a list, a poem - and people gathered to remember those lost three years ago in the attack on the World Trade Center. That's how Larchmont and Mamaroneck officials, police, firefighters, scouts, families and friends commemorated the events on Saturday morning at Memorial Park in the Town of Mamaroneck.
The group assembled first for a brief ceremony at what's come to be known as "Girl Scout Rock" in the little garden near the train station parking lot, where scouts have placed a memorial plaque. The most solemn moment was a recitation by Town Supervisor Valerie O'Keeffe of names of local residents who died at the twin towers three years ago:
  • Helen Belilovsky
  • John Howard Boulton
  • Douglas G. Karpiloff
  • Frank J. Koestner
  • Maurice Patrick Kelly
  • Helen Crossin-Kittle  Patricia Helen Kittle
  • Edward H. Luckett II
  • John Thomas McErlean Jr.
  • Christopher Orgielewicz
  • John Reo
  • John F. Swaine
The assembly then reconvened across the street for the unveiling of a memorial stone, under a commemorative tree planted last year by FIND (Friends in Need), the Larchmont-based organization formed to help the local families impacted by the disaster.
"September 11, 2001 it's not just a date, it's a part of us, just as our loved ones are," Bob Meglio, one of the founders of FIND, told the gathering. Other speakers echoed his words. "We remember, we bear witness across Judaism, across Christianity, across even Islam and Hinduism, we remember. so those who have fallen are not lost," said Reverend Bill Crawford of Larchmont Avenue Church. And how do we remember? We mark with a stone, and say a prayer that has no mention of death, but only an appreciation for life, said Rabbi Jeffrey Sirkman of Larchmont Temple explaining the Jewish custom. And so, Carolyn Koestner and Eugene Belilovsky, who each lost a parent on 9/11, helped unveil the stone marker under the dogwood tree that has taken root since last year at edge of the field.


Calling All Angels
by Jane Siberry

Santa Maria, Santa Teresa, Santa Anna, Santa Susannah
Santa Cecilia, Santa Copelia, Santa Dominica, Mary Angelica
Frater Achad, Frater Pietro, Julianus, Petronella
Santa, Santos, Miroslaw, Vladimir
and all the rest

A man is placed upon the steps, a baby cries
And high above the church bells start to ring
And as the heaviness the body
Oh the heaviness settles in
Somewhere you can hear a mother sing

Then it's one foot then the other
As you step out onto the road
How much weight? How much weight?
Then it's how long? And how far?
And how many times before it's too late?

Calling all angels
Calling all angels
Walk me through this one
Don't leave me alone
Calling all angels
Calling all angels
We're cryin' and we're hurtin'
And we're not sure why...

And every day you gaze upon the sunset
With such love and intensity
Why it''s almost as if
If you could only crack the code
Then you'd finally understand what this all means
But if you you think you would
Trade it in
All the pain and suffering?
Ah, but then you'd miss
The beauty of the light upon this earth
And the sweetness of the leaving

Calling all angels
Calling all angels
Walk me through this one
Don't leave me alone

Callin’ all angels
Callin' all angels
We're tryin'
We're hopin
We're hurtin'
We're lovin'
We're cryin'
We're callin'
'Cause we're not sure how this goes

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