They say when you truly love someone, you can still hear their laughter after their gone. Jimmy, its been 8 years and I hear you loud and clear...........Yours forever.
Tara Ocskasy Bendick
Jimmy Pappageorge, how I always smile when I say your name. You made a great impact on my son Johns life. He looks up to you. We have gotten so close to your sister and mom since 9/11. Helen has the same birthday as me. We make sure to call. You made us so proud. My father Capt. Bendick was very proud of you. He considered you one of his children. We all miss you so much. Your smile, your kindness, your love. Until we meet again.
Tara & little John
I just reread a paper I wrote around 12/01
In it I mentioned James PappaGeorge in it.
With my respects to his family and loved ones, I submit this.
Claire Y. Colón
"One short sleep past, we wake eternally, And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die"
~Death Be Not Proud, John Donne
I was thinking about this paper while on the way to the library last week. Despite the rain, I saw an old sign; "Last day to return books for full refund: September 11, 2001." I couldn't help feeling sad. I have recently said that life can really be summed up in just a few days or even moments of existence that somehow stands out from the rest; thus, that moment in which I looked at that weather worn sign was captured like a snap shot in my memory forever. The connection was made and I remembered again that too many were dead and too many left behind did not know them. I wish I could write about these unknown brethren in the same eloquent manner as Thomas Gray did. His poem, "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" could very easily be dedicated to those who died on that day. The words that follow here are my tribute to them. Perhaps when these words are done, hope can again replace the sadness I feel.
"For thee, who mindful of the unhonored dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If chance, by lonely contemplation led, Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate, (93-96)
Soledi Colón-I was not expecting to find our surname in that list. I did not know you but I am thinking of you. Did you go through life as I did, slightly embarrassed when someone mistook your surname as a punctuation mark or a part of human anatomy? Did you laugh at all the jokes? Did you love your name despite them? Did you know true love? Did you have children? How often had you gone home to Puerto Rico? How many family members have you left behind on that beautiful isle? I know they mourn you in a way I never could.
And what of you, Mark? Mark K. Bingham--you were only thirty-one. Did we ever cross paths in San Francisco? Did we ever eat at the same restaurant? Or go to the same show? How many degrees of separation are there between us? Are you a friend of a friend? Did you ever think someone might have "lonely contemplations" about the life you led? I love the city in which you lived. I wonder how many loved you? In this passing moment I wonder if I could have been one of those who loved you? Can I ask has any "kindred spirit" besides me paused to "inquire [of] thy fate?"
"Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile,
The short and simple annals of the poor. (29-32"
Charles A. Zion-someone, somewhere knew you very well. I have skimmed through as much of the "short and simple annals" of the fallen. I have looked at many names. There I found your name, you who went to work on that day. I don't know if you were "poor." I don't know what "toil" and "homely joys" brought you to that tower, but I recognize your name. Did you know that your last name was a biblical reference? Did you know that your name reminds many of a comforting hope? "For out of Zion law will go forth, and the word of Jehovah out of Jerusalem. And he will certainly render judgment among the nations and set matters straight respecting many peoples. And they will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war anymore." Isaiah 2:3,4. This is a time when many are asking why? Why did Charles A. Zion perish along with thousands of others? I know the answer to why, but my question is still unknown. I ask "when?" When will law go forth out of Zion? My mind tells my heart soon.
"Their name, their years, spelt by the unlettered Muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply:
And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die. (81-84)
James Pappageorge-this "unlettered Muse" smiles at your name. I find it difficult to think of you as anything but good humored. I am looking at your eyes now from the picture on this web page--such a spark of intelligence I see there. I also see a youthful fireman who selflessly endeavored to rescue people. What "holy text" taught you to sacrifice your life to save others? It must be the same text that John 3:16 is taken from. "For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life." Your parents have much to be proud of for you are truly one of many unsung heroes and you followed in the path of a great one. It is strange that your funeral will be held tomorrow. I just wish I could be there to read Gray's elegy to those who knew you.
The applause of listening senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
And read their history in a nation's eyes (61-64)
I know Iraq is not "a smiling land" and I can't help but think of what is being scattered "plenty o'er" that country. I don't know how many in America can look at the history that reflects in the eyes of what many may think is the enemy. How many innocent lives are being claimed to redeem the lives that were lost in this country? How does one know if it is just punishment for everyone that has been killed in retaliation? I know there are many opinions as to the right course of action, and I am not trying to criticize the war that is being waged. I just despise "the threats of pain and ruin," that come from both sides of this war. I have to believe in the scripture found at Romans 12:18,19 "If possible, as far as it depends upon you, be peaceable with all men. Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but yield place to the wrath; for it is written: "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says Jehovah."" Someone who can put faith in this promise must find it soothing, for believing in it means that eventually true justice will be meted out.
"No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode
(There they alike in trembling hope repose),
The bosom of his Father and his God. (125-128)
Thomas Gray appears to be pointing to the same hope that I alluded to in the beginning of this paper. It is my hope that Soledi Colón, Charles A. Zion, Mark K. Bingham, James Pappageorge and all of the other thousands souls are in "the bosom of " God. Scripture states that "the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out." John 5:28. This promise is applicable to all who have died in times past, whether common or royal. Gray's poem captured my thoughts for many days and since I read the poem I have often thought of 9-11. Before this I had been preoccupied with my own affairs and had not taken note of the tragedy for several weeks. I am glad to be reminded of it. I do retain hope and am able to take comfort in it. I just wish that others will take a step back and reflect on these matters and at least try to ask for faith if they have none; for God does "not want you to be ignorant concerning those who are sleeping [in death]; that you may not sorrow just as the rest also do who have no hope." 1 Thessalonians 4:13