Saturday, March 27, 2010

Community Mourns for Loss By Dagmar Fors Karppi

Oyster Bay, as all of the Manhattan Metropolitan area is getting to know the people lost in the terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. Most of us watched the events as they happened on television. Now we are seeing the depth of the loss as we attend the memorial funerals of those people whose lives were unforgivably ended.

Local people lost in the tragedy include, Christopher Paul Slattery, 31; Timothy Byrne, 36; Brooke Jackman, 23; Bernie Patterson, 45; Michael Taddonio, 39, Edward Papa, 47. At St. Dominic's parishioners also prayed for the familes of: Joseph Kelly, Thomas A. Mahon, St. Dominic Class of '82; Danny Tran, Robert McMahon NYFD; Frank Sedaka; Christopher Ciafardini; Bart Ruggieri; Timothy Haskell NYFD, Squad 18; Thomas Haskell NYFD, Lad 132; Thomas Langone NYPD ESU; Peter Langone NYFD; Timothy Higgins NYFD; Laura Marchese; Thomas Strada, St. Dominic Class of 1978.

Thursday, Sept. 20, there was a large memorial Mass for Christopher Slattery. Friday, it seemed there couldn't be a larger group of mourners at St. Dominic Church, for the service for Timothy G. Byrne St. Dominic Class of 1983, but Saturday, the church was overflowing for the service for Edward Papa. Sunday the Oyster Bay Jewish Center mourners filled the sanctuary, the social room and spilled over outside as they listened to a tribute to Brooke Jackman. There were between 1,000 to 1,500 people in attendance. As we go to press on Monday, the Mahon family is honoring their loss of their son/brother Thomas. The grief appears to be growing as Americans come to grips with the toll of the attack.

At the St. Dominic Memorial Mass for Timothy Gerard Byrne his brother Sean spoke, with his brothers Brian and Christopher standing with him.

Sean Byrne thanked Dan Driscoll, Tim's best friend and Bill Hickey, a friend and co-worker at Sandler & O'Neill for speaking. The company, that was located in the World Trade Tower, lost 67 employees.

On behalf of the Byrne family, Sean offered their deepest sympathy to all the families affected by the tragedy. The wife of the company's CEO was also widowed in the attack.

Mr. Byrne also expressed the family's gratitude of the last few days. He said it shows the quality of the people of Oyster Bay.

He said, "There are thousands of sad stories to tell. Ours is certainly one of them." He described Timmy as 36, the third of 10 children in a family of nine boys and one girl. Timmy rose to become the head of the family when his father died of a seizure in 1986.

Mr. Byrne had asked his mother to characterize Tim, and she had said him, Tim was a very smart, bright little boy, a bundle of energy and his favorite saying was "I can do it." As a toddler, in his playpen, he managed to get out and drag the playpen down the street.

One of his greatest gifts was his ability to connect with people, it made him a part of everyone he met, said Sean.

"This made him a favorite of teachers, friends and friend's parents as well as at college and work," he said.

In his eulogy, his brother Sean Byrne said when he was notified of his father's death, he came home from Maritime College and spoke to Timmy at Syracuse University. "He was crying saying what are we going to do?" Sean said they'd be okay.

Between the phone call and getting home Timmy had a plan. He was a born leader and the other siblings saw that he would take over the role of the man in the family. He continued his own education, getting his degree at Syracuse and then an MBA at St. John's in 1992, with a 3.2 gpa.

Sean told the story of how Tim got into Syracuse. "He was excellent academically and athletically, not without effort: he worked out hard and studied diligently. At the end of his senior year he wanted to show he could play division A football. He wanted to play for Syracuse. He sent a letter to the coach, "And mother sent one, as she did for so many of her children," said Sean.

"He was offered a tryout after the season ended. During the summer Timmy lifted weights and ran six days a week. Out of 35 who tried out, he made the team. It was one of the happiest days for the family," said Sean.

Timmy was the head of the "Byrne Corporation." At one time, he left his NYC apartment to live with the family as a budget strategy. "Knowing how much he loved his apartment, you could see what a selfless human being he was," said Sean.

The family had fireside chats to discuss family issues. "Timmy gave out a Lotus spread sheet to explain 'this is the net net.' Sometimes the fireside chats got hot," he said.

Things changed and he returned to having his own apartment, but he continued to help the family and help with the education of his siblings as they attended college. His brother Colin is a sophomore at Notre Dame on an academic scholarship.

"Without Tim's leadership, guidance, and sense of humor, my family would not be in the position it is today," said Sean.

He said, "The world was a better place with Timmy. If everyone lives out their lives to the fullest and soars to new heights then Tim will go on forever. A hero in living: his passing brought nothing but honor to the Byrne family.

"Tim is in heaven giving my father golf lessons," said Sean. "God Bless American. Thank you for coming."

The first speaker at the service was Timmy's friend Dan Driscoll.

The two met at St. Dominic's. "I believe when someone is as special and unique as Tim, leaves this world, he takes a piece of us with him and we are forever changed - and he leaves a piece of himself here."

He said, "I thought of Tim as a prince. He most definitely was the Prince of his family. I never met a man who brought more peace than Tim, brought more happiness.

"But all sorrow is not what Timmy would want. Tim would have been disappointed if people let his death affect them."

Mr. Driscoll gave a message of hope. He said when thinking of that day, Sept. 11, don't think of it as a day of endings: think of it as day of the beginning of our new life.

Mr. Driscoll said, "I could never keep up with him. He always had 100 things going. Timmy's favorite saying was: "I'm getting it done, John, getting it done. I'm in the trenches getting it done."

He said, "Tim was a mover and shaker and always had a back up plan.

"I'll never stop missing Tim. I'll always have him here in my heart," said Dan Driscoll.

Bill Hickey, a friend and co-worker at Sandler & O'Neill spoke next and said from the first day he started, they became great friends. Tim formed great relationships with people.

The family chose I Was Born to Be an American God Bless the USA to be played as the memorial ended.

The family has established a memorial for Timothy, which will benefit the St. Dominic Playing Field entrance garden. Donations to the Timothy G. Byrne Memorial Fund checks may be made payable to St. Dominic High School.

Oyster Bay High School graduate Brooke Alexandra Jackman of the Class of 1994 was also in the World Trade Center when the hijacked airplanes crashed into the buildings. Brooke worked on the 104 floor of WTC-1 at Cantor Fitzgerald. That company lost 700 employees that day. Brooke was 23.

The Oyster Bay Jewish Center sanctuary was filled and the crowd spread to the social room and spilled outside. The tribute service was heard in all the areas. Her family shared their memories of Brooke. Of the three children, she and her sister Erin, and brother Ross, Brooke was the youngest. Her father Robert Jackman was on the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Board of Education and was able to present her with her high school diploma. They said he was surprised by the number of honors she won that day, she never told them beforehand. She was a perfectionist. They said she never thought of herself as smart - that although she could remember dates and events with great alacrity. Brooke was a great keeper of secrets, said her sister - the two were very close. She had a great relationship with her mom, they traded books and were shopping buddies.

Barbara Jackman said Brooke was able to argue with her dad because they were so much alike. "She had her own opinions," her father said proudly.

Brooke was thrilled to have a sister-in-law, Iris.

Brooke volunteered at a community soup kitchen in Hicksville, at the Henry Viscardi School, and at the Daffodil Cancer Thrift Shop in Oyster Bay.

Susan Diamond sang You'll Never Walk Alone at the family's request.

Her brother said, "The past is not a place we can visit. Brooke, we will cherish you in our hearts, your beautiful smile."

Brooke's family has asked that in lieu of flowers donations be sent to the Brooke Jackman Foundation, P.O. Box 354, Mill Neck, NY 11765. It will be used to benefit children in need.

Mrs. Jackman said Brooke had just been accepted into the Berkley School of Social Work at Columbia University. She had told her mother, "There is more to life than just making money."

Other families in the community are thinking of the others in this tragic time.

Michael Taddonio's family has asked in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Michael Taddonio Memorial Fund, 155 Pound Hollow Rd., Old Brookville, NY 11545.

Christopher Paul Slattery's family has asked in lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, the NY Firefighters 9/11 Disaster Relief Fund or the September 11 Fund in conjunction with the United Way.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Jamie McIntyre 2008

The story of the century, and the century had just begun...
Posted: 01:03 PM ET

Editor's Note: We are devoting many posts today to the anniversary of 9/11, with first-hand accounts, insight, and commentary dedicated to that day seven years ago that changed our world.

Jamie McIntyre | BIO
Senior Pentagon Correspondent

I was just pulling into the Pentagon parking lot at 8:45 in the morning, when my producer Chris Plante called me on my cell phone. "Are you aware of what's happening?" he asked, as I was stepping out of my car. "A plane has just hit the World Trade Center." My step quickened, as I ascended the long driveway to the River entrance of the Pentagon.

Once inside, I rushed to the office of a well-connected military officer on the joint staff and found him watching the coverage on CNN. "Is there any evidence this was a military plane?" I asked.

Another reporter walked in. "Don't laugh," she said. "My desk is asking if this could be an act of terrorism."

Within minutes we got the answer when the second plane hit.

I hurried to my office, located on the outer 'E-ring' on the Pentagon, facing northwest Washington, and began making calls. I quickly learned that the building had been put on a higher state of alert, "Threatcon Alpha", as a precaution.

My 10-by-20 foot office was quickly filling with people, mostly military personnel who did not have televisions in their offices, who now stood transfixed by the ghastly image on CNN.
Suddenly I began to get cryptic messages in the CNN internal computer system, "Are you alright?" "Is everything okay?"

I was momentarily puzzled. Sure a momentous tragedy was unfolding before our eyes, but I was doing my job, and not under undue emotional stress. Then I understood the sudden concern. Chris, my producer, had arrived at the Pentagon the precise moment the airliner hit, and was now reporting on the smoky fire from his cell phone on other side of the building.

As a building alarm sounded, and a recorded announcement ordered immediate evacuation, I walked inward along corridor 7 from the outer E-ring to the inner A-Ring. I found the Pentagon¹s center courtyard full of people, and saw black smoke billowing from the opposite side over the entrance to corridors 3 and 4.

An Army two-star told me his story of feeling the explosion and seeing the "shrapnel" from the impact. I saw a medical team rush to the impact area, answering a call for someone trapped inside. I rushed back to deliver my first report from my office camera at 9:57 am.

While I waited for CNN to get to me, I began frantically dialing my home number to let my wife know I was unharmed. So many well-meaning friends were calling the line was constantly busy. Just before I had to go on the air, I saw my home number flash on the incoming caller ID.
"I'm okay," I blurted to my wife, just as I was being introduced on the air.

Aaron Brown, was anchoring our coverage from the top of our NY building with the smoking towers of the World Trade Center behind him,

"At the Pentagon a plane or a helicopter has crashed, apparently as part of whatever this operation has been. And Jamie McIntyre is there. Jamie, what are you hearing?"
"Well, Aaron, there is a lot of confusion here at the Pentagon. It appears that something hit the Pentagon on the outside of the fifth corridor, on the Army corridor. Several Army officers I talked to reporting hearing a big, explosion, seeing shards of metal coming past their window.
The Pentagon has been evacuated. Emergency services personnel were rushing to reports of several people trapped in the building. Most of the building's 24,000 people are outside of the building or in the center courtyard as emergency teams try to sort out what has happened here. There is of course thick black smoke billowing from the scene. There¹s a lot of confusion. The Defense Protective Service, the police force here in the pentagon has been urging people to get out of the building and move away from the scene so they can handle the emergency situation. Again it appears that an aircraft of some sort did hit the side of the Pentagon, the west front which faces sort of toward Arlington national cemetery. It's a corridor where lots of Army offices are located...

"Wow!" said Aaron suddenly interrupting me.

"Jamie, Jamie, I need you to stop for a second. There has just been a huge explosion, we can see a billowing smoke rising, and I'll tell you I can't see that second tower."
It was at the moment the first of the two towers collapsed.

It wasn't clear to me exactly what had just happened in New York. I was considering my own situation. I looked down the deserted hall outside my office, and saw a thin haze of smoke slowly beginning to move in my direction. I made some quick decisions. I would take my laptop with all my files, but I would leave my coat and tie. It was already a warm day, and it was going to be long day of reporting.

Before taking off, I attempted one more feat of newsgathering. I tried to move the live camera mounted in the corner of my office so I could point it down the hallway. That way if, in what I hoped was an unlikely prospect, the fire burned all the way to my office, at least CNN would have a live picture until the power went off. But it turned out there wasn't enough cable to get the camera to the doorway, so instead I set the lens on a wide shot of the office and left with the camera feeding back a picture of my desk.

I saw no one else as I walked out, passing the deserted office of the Joint Chiefs Chairman, and turning left to exit through the River Entrance. Outside the Lincoln Navigator used by the Secretary of Defense was idling, apparently ready to whisk him to safety, but Rumsfeld was not around.

I walked in the sunshine along the Pentagon's ceremonial parade ground, a wide expanse of well-manicured grass and flowers at least as long as a football field. When I reached the end, I looked back just as someone was sounding another warning from a bullhorn.

"Hurry, move quickly," he exhorted, "we have a report of another plane, two minutes out, heading for the Pentagon." I looked down the steps to my left and saw several hundred people scurrying from another Pentagon entrance. I tried to call CNN on my cellular phone,
but couldn't get through. I tried to call my wife again. Damn. All the cells were jammed. I stopped, listened, and scanned the horizon with one eye while holding my still camera to my other eye.

The sky was bright blue and absolutely cloudless. It was eerily quiet.
Then a U.S. Air Force National Guard F-16 roared overhead. Eight more minutes passed and there was no second plane. I snapped a picture of the smoke rising behind the sun-drenched east façade of the Pentagon, and moved on.

I began a long walk to circumnavigate the Pentagon to get to the fire. It took me about 15 to 20 minutes; the walk shortened somewhat by closure of the surrounding roads, which allowed me to ford highways normally impassible to pedestrians.

I made my way to through the south parking lot, where people were still going to their cars, and as I turned the corner I saw for the first time the devastation.

While my producer Chris Plante has been on CNN several times with on-scene reports, I had not been able to get a cell phone call out to CNN. By the time I arrived at the scene, the press had been pushed back far away from the building, and most of the surviving injured had already been evacuated.

I stood behind a line of rescue people waiting for anyone else who might be found in the debris.
Finally my cell phone call went through, and soon I was again talking to Aaron Brown in New York.

"I'm looking at the charred façade of the Pentagon, a huge gaping hole on the side where the Pentagon helipad is located, the side that faces Arlington Cemetery. In front of me is a long line of rescue personnel, with backboards. They are just waiting for victims to be brought out so they can rush them to nearby medical facilities...Firefighters continue to pour streams of water onto the side of the building and a huge black cloud of smoke continues to billow out. It is a scene of utter destruction here. I'm sure it pales in comparison to the World Trade Center, but I have never seen anything like this myself, and I'm certain that in the history of the Pentagon, there's been nothing like this." As I wandered closer to the firefighters, I noticed hundreds of tiny plane fragments scattered around the Pentagon heliport.

I spotted a three-foot piece of fuselage, and a smashed cockpit window, but most of the pieces were small enough to fit in your hand.

Mindful that an investigation might eventually try to piece the plane back together, I carefully avoided touching anything. A police officer approached me and asked who I was. When I explained, he told me I would have to move to a designated media area up a hill and across Route 27.

I set off in that direction, and when I reached the parking lot I turned for a last look. The image of the Pentagon burning, behind yellow police tape, seemed like a natural photograph. So I raised my camera and took a picture, for me really, since CNN already was showing a live picture on the air, much closer up.

That photograph led to my arrest. A panicked police officer of the Defense Protective Service saw me, and demanded my camera and tape recorder. When I protested, he overreacted and slapped me in handcuffs.

I tried to be as nonconfrontational as possible, knowing from experience that police are trained to meet any resistance with more force. I calmly repeated that I would cooperate, and explained that there was no reason for him to confiscate my equipment. But he wasn't in any mood for reason.

After discussing my crime with his supervisor, he eventually realized he would have to let me go, and began walking me to toward the press area. I gently suggested it might not look so good for him to been captured on videotape marching the CNN correspondent in handcuffs. He quickly dismissed the notion, but then, as though he just thought of something more important he had to do, he uncuffed me and let me go, while maintaining custody of my digital camera and audio recorder.

When I requested he return my press pass, he angrily replied, "Mr. McIntyre, you won't need that, because you will NEVER set foot in the Pentagon again."

I knew better, of course, but saw little reason to correct him. It was a
bad day for a lot of people, I told myself, and he was just one of them. The rest of the day was marked by confusion in the logistics of television news coverage, punctuated by the growing realization of the enormity of the event.

In its haste to get a live picture on the air, CNN had set up its camera far
from the scene, and I had to hike more than a mile to get to it. When I
got there I found my colleague Bob Franken reporting from near the foot of the 14the street bridge, a location from which it was impossible to get any real information.

A CNN producer drove me south on the main highway and dropped me at a location where another CNN crew was supposedly setting up a second live camera, but when I arrived I found that was not the case.

So I hiked back to where most of the media had set up camp, at a CITCO gas station across the highway from where firefighters were still battling the blaze.

CNN was still having technical problems, and relying on local stations for their live pictures. I made a guest appearance on one CNN affiliate, WUSA-TV Channel 9, a station where I once worked.

When I finally did get back on the air, I interviewed an eyewitness, a TV reporter named Mike Walter, who had seen the whole thing from his car, but did not have a cell phone. "I think I'm the only reporter in Washington without a cell phone," he lamented.

With all the cells overloaded it was hard to get a call out, but at one point when I was hiking around, my teenage daughter was able to get through, so I could tell her I was okay. And I also eventually was able to contact my wife, who had been inundated by well-meaning friends and neighbors, worried about my safety.

CNN was so consumed by the much bigger disaster in New York, that perversely it was hard to get on the air. I never saw the images of the World Trade Center towers collapsing until much later in the day. In between my reports, I would just sit and think about how profoundly the world had changed. It seemed overwhelming at times. The story of the century, and the century had just begun.

I felt an enormous sadness, both for the loss of lives, and for the loss of freedoms I feared would have to follow such an event, but I didn't feel like crying.

I went home around midnight. . It wasn't until the next morning, as I went to hang the American flag on the porch outside our home that when tears came to my eyes.

The story of the century, and the century had just begun...
Posted: 01:03 PM ET
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Editor's Note: We are devoting many posts today to the anniversary of 9/11, with first-hand accounts, insight, and commentary dedicated to that day seven years ago that changed our world.

Trinity News, September 11, 2001

News Report on Wall Trade Center Attack and Trinity Wall Street

When the first aircraft hit New York's World Trade Center during the morning rush-hour on Tuesday September 11, young children were arriving at Trinity Wall Street's pre-school, staff were on the streets around the center, and Archbishop Rowan Williams of Wales was preparing for a day's videotaping with Trinity Television.

The Rev. Dr. Daniel P. Matthews, rector of the Parish of Trinity Church, and a group of colleagues were in a meeting in the parish's office tower three blocks from the center.

"We were on the 24th floor, which has a view of the World Trade Center, when we heard the sound, and looked up to see a ball of fire coming from one of the towers. A few minutes later, we saw the second plane hit, and again a ball of fire erupted," he said. He was soon down in the building's lobby, reassuring shocked staffers as security staff sought guidance on the safest response.

Before the first blast, staff on the streets around Trinity heard what to some sounded like military jets carrying out a low fly-past before hearing the blast. Within minutes, pieces of paper were raining from the sky onto the church, the churchyard and the surrounding streets.

In Trinity Television's studio a small group of shocked visitors gathered as Trinity's director of television, Bert Medley, asked Archbishop Williams to lead the group in prayer.

The Rev. Gay Silver went to minister to the teachers and pupils at the pre-school. The Rev. Lyndon Harris, who heads the ministry at historic St. Paul's Chapel across the street from the World Trade Center, set out for the chapel to see how he could help there. Before he arrived, the second aircraft hit the center and he was forced to return to Trinity to avoid flying debris.

The Rev. Stuart Hoke, executive assistant to Dr. Matthews, was among those in the church leading prayers and hymns for shocked passers-by some time later when a tower at the WTC collapsed. The power was cut. Some of the congregation fled into Broadway, while others remained in the nave. Trinity's office tower shuddered and dust began to penetrate the building down lift shafts from the top.

Staff who tried to leave the building found the lobby filled with dust, and were forced to return to upper floors to breathe. Outside, the pall of dust that had settled over the financial district with the tower's collapse had made it dark as night.

Staff designated as fire wardens gathered at the pre-school to evacuate the children to the basement. Other staff searched the building, looking for places which were both as low down in the building and as dust-free as possible. Once breathing masks had all been handed out, towels in the pre-school were torn up and soaked in water for people to breathe through.

When the order to evacuate the office block came, Trinity staffers and pre-school children filed out under the direction of security staff and fire wardens. They streamed down Greenwich Street at the back of the building, heading through the gloom and holding masks or towels to the their faces, to the south end of the island of Manhattan. When they heard the sounds of another collapse from the World Trade Center, they dashed for cover in doorways and under alcoves.

Numbers boarded the Staten Island ferry across New York harbor to escape the downtown area, and others were evacuated by buses up the east side and to Brooklyn.