It’s a somber day here on a foggy Colorado morning.The air is filled with the crispness of fall being just around the corner. Five years ago on this day I was with my Father and 2 brothers in the mountains above 11, 000 feet enjoying the great outdoors. We had no idea what was occuring a few thousand miles away in New York City.
My wife was at home with my daughter, she had just celebrated her 2nd birthday 2 days before. She was watching the news when she first saw a plane hit Tower number 1. “Look mommy plane!” said my daughter not knowing any better about the tragedy she had just witnessed. My wife sat and cried and tried to reach me by phone but I was not in a place where my phone would work. Later in the day, when my cell phone reached a place with a signal, I called and I too hung my head as she explained what had happened. I rushed home from the mountain trip to be by my family’s side.
Joseph Vilardo, a successful stock broker was at work on September 11, 2001. He worked on the 104th floor of The World Trade Center. I’m choked up even now as I read a recap of Joe’s bio:
Though Joseph Vilardo was a successful stock trader, his greatest joys came outside of work, spending time with his family. A senior vice president for Cantor Fitzgerald Securities, Mr. Vilardo, 42, of Stanhope, was working on the 104th floor of One World Trade Center when a hijacked jetliner hit the building Sept. 11. Just a day earlier, Mr. Vilardo proudly called his parents in Barnegat to tell them their grandson, Matthew, had hit a home run Sunday, recalled Mr. Vilardo’s mother, Ann Vilardo. A coach of his son’s Little League team, Mr. Vilardo also was an outdoor enthusiast and avid skier, who enjoyed taking his children on skiing trips. “He was always with his kids. Whatever they did, he was there with them,” said Mr. Vilardo’s lifelong friend, Joseph Cook. Mr. Vilardo grew up in North Arlington, and lived in Byram and Rutherford before moving to Stanhope. His skiing hobby dated to a grade-school trip to the Alps. He returned home with a love for the slopes as well as a keepsake gift for his mother, a Swiss crystal centerpiece dish. “He brought me home the most beautiful piece of crystal. I said, ‘How did you bring it home?’ He said, ‘I wrapped it in a towel,’ ” Ann Vilardo recalled. Mr. Vilardo also enjoyed hiking and walking his dogs, as well as playing golf and guitar. His interest in business was sparked in a class about the stock market at North Arlington High School, from which he graduated in 1977, Cook said. “He became great with it,” Cook said. “He worked his way up and became very successful.” Having worked for Cantor Fitzgerald for about the past nine years, Mr. Vilardo was promoted to senior vice president of Canadian trading a few years ago. It was a prestigious position trumpeted by the company in large newspaper ads. Mr. Vilardo is survived by his wife, Patricia; a daughter, Nicole, and a son, Matthew, all of Stanhope. Also surviving are his parents, Barry and Ann Vilardo of Barnegat, and three sisters, Diane Braitsch of Hasbrouck Heights, Margaret Mahon of Lanoka Harbor and Janet Vilardo of Lyndhurst.
[source: Wall of Americans.com]
You see, I am 42 this year also and I too love the outdoors and baseball and especially spending time with my children. I know that to this day those children and his wife and the rest of his family miss him very much. He truly sounds like a Genuine Dad. I will leave the family with this hope however, quoting the freind in the piece above
“He was always with his kids. Whatever they did, he was there with them,” said Mr. Vilardo’s lifelong friend, Joseph Cook.
I wish I could talk to those kids now 5 years later. I could tell them how proud of them their Dad was and how much he loved them. How I know that his last thoughts were about his love of his family and this gave him peace to know that they would not have to die with him on that day. I have never met or spoken to the family but I can assure them that Mr. Cook was correct, no matter what happed Mr. Vilardo will be there and no matter what they do he will be with them.
God Bless the Vilardo family and all of the other families of the people that perished on that fateful day in September. I will be praying for all of you today. There is a tribute to all of the victims by bloggers around the world. You can visit the tribute site at 2996. Don’t be afraid to do you own tribute today. As for me and my family we shall never forget.
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