Saturday, September 09, 2006

George J. Ferguson

GEORGE J. FERGUSON, 54, of Teaneck died Tuesday September 11, 2001. He was president of Westfalia Investment Co., New York City. He was a parishioner of Holy Trinity R.C. Church, Hackensack. He was a father, an employee, a colleague, a friend, and a victim of a senseless act of violence.

When I came across this opportunity to remember one of the 2,996 people that died on September 11, 2001, I jumped at the chance. I thought it would be a great thing to do for the families of the victims, but I didn’t realize the effect it would have on me.

I’ll admit, it was a huge struggle to try and find any information on George Ferguson. But the websites that I came across were astounding. People have dedicated so much bandwidth to the remembrance of fallen strangers. The first thing that amazed me was the sheer quantity of names. I’ve never actually taken the time to look at almost 3,000 names, so to actually do it was overwhelming. The list just kept going and going and going. And it hurts my heart to know that so many people were unnecessarily murdered that day. It’s only about 400 people short of my entire town’s population. Can you imagine that? An entire town just gone.
I didn’t know how to honor a man that I’ve never met. And then I finally started having some success on the 9/11 tribute sites, thanks in part to someone that was a good friend or Mr. Ferguson’s.

From what I’ve gathered, he was a good man. Everyone that posted any memories said that he was always quick to share a laugh, a smile, or a joke. They spoke of memories they had of meeting at the bar after work and Mr. Ferguson insisting on buying them a round.

He didn’t even work in one of the WTC towers. He was the president of Westfalia Investment Co., a company with offices located in the building referred to as 90 West. It’s a Gothic building with beautiful scrolls of terra cotta on the outside. I wonder what it looked like before. And I have no idea what it was like inside, but I suppose it was like any office building. I picture it in warm, creamy colors. A cream and orange swirled marble tile on the ground floor, offices taking up most of the space above. Now that it’s been rebuilt, it’s been converted to apartments, but I know when I get to New York, I’ll stop for a minute at that building to remember.

On September 11, 2001, George Ferguson started his day out as I’m sure he did every other. Was he a coffee drinker? Did he take a minute in the morning to read his email? Or the paper? Or was he like me and had everything down to an exact science in order to maximize sleep time? I honestly wish I could tell you. I wish I could have had the chance to meet him instead of learning about him as part of a tribute. Instead, a wonderful, mischievous, thoughtful, caring man was taken away from those who knew and loved him because he was in an elevator at 90 West when the planes hit. He was trapped and died of smoke inhalation. There is evidence that another person, Maria Ramirez was in the elevator with him that day. I can only hope that in their fading moments, they gave each other as much peace and comfort as possible.

Taking this opportunity to remember a man that I don’t know has made the events of 9/11 so much more real to me. I mean, I saw it as the huge tragedy that it was, but now it’s so personal. It hurts my heart that there are so many families still mourning the loss of their dear relatives. I can only hope that this little tribute can give them something tangible to know that whether we knew each other or not, every single person in this entire country feels a sort of loss for these innocent people.

So, now that you’ve read my memorial to George Ferguson, take a minute to go to the 2,996 website to see the list of victims.


ALAN JACKSON LYRICS

"Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)"

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Out in the yard with your wife and children
Working on some stage in LA
Did you stand there in shock at the site of
That black smoke rising against that blue sky
Did you shout out in anger
In fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry

Did you weep for the children
Who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below

Did you burst out in pride
For the red white and blue
The heroes who died just doing what they do
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself to what really matters

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Teaching a class full of innocent children
Driving down some cold interstate
Did you feel guilty cause you're a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone
Did you call up your mother and tell her you love her
Did you dust off that bible at home
Did you open your eyes and hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Speak with some stranger on the street
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Go out and buy you a gun
Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watching
And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns
Did you go to a church and hold hands with some stranger
Stand in line and give your own blood
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

The greatest is love
The greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day

10 comments:

Molly said...

That was really lovely, for you to honor and remember someone that you do not know.

I think we will always remember where we were that dreadful day. I was in Hawaii, having been sent their on a paid vacation by my boss. He had told me I could choose anywhere to go and we chose New York, then before I got the chance to tell him, he bought tickets to Hawaii for me. I was mad with him at the time. We arrived in the afternoon of September 10th. We woke up and watched everything happen live and I was never so grateful for my boss buying those tickets to Hawaii instead of New York. I had been to NY so many times and the first place I was going to take my husband was the World Trade Center. I thank God and my boss that I never got that opportunity to go.

Grins said...

I am so impressed with the words of everyone sharing about these people. I myself couldn't find the words to participate. Thank you for doing it for the rest of us.

Bug said...

Excellent job on the tribute darlin' very touching.

Mr. Fabulous said...

You did a great job. You did him proud.

Helen said...

Where was I? Living in Manhattan. And there on that day, the world really did stop.
Peace...........

Sodapop said...

very well done. thank you

EC said...

It was beautiful... you definately did him justice.

RWA said...

Very well done, Glamorous. You introduced everyone to a complete stranger - and that helps everyone remember.

Tracy said...

Carrie, that was a beautiful post. thank you for sharing George with the rest of us.

If you'd like to add a link to your tribute c'mon over to mine. I set up a Mr. Linky for 2996.

Take care, hon.

Matthew Fergsuon said...

Hey I'm not sure who you are but i'm his son. If you want to contact me Fergusonm85@aol.com. thanks- Matt