Monday, September 11, 2006
2,996 Project: A Tribute to the Victims of 9/11
-By Warner Todd Huston
In Memory of Mr. Ramon Grijalvo
(We have joined the 2,996 Project: A Tribute to the Victims of 9/11 and from today forward until Monday we will leave this tribute at the top of the Blog.)
I don't know a whole lot about Mr. Grijalvo, but one thing is for sure... he was not an out of the ordinary fellow.
In the photo to the left, he certainly looks friendly and comfortable with himself. Not an imposing fellow, but warm.
A terse line about him on one of the 9/11 victim sites reads:
Ramon Grijalvo, 58, Filipino, an employee of Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
Here is what the website, www.september11victims.com, has to say about Mr. Grijalvo:
Ramon was a quiet, soft-spoken man, but his 25-years of dedication to Empire spoke volumes. He put in long hours and brought work home-- anything to get the job done. Ramon was a self-starter who taught himself programming languages so he could excel as an integral part of the Information Technology department. And, he was always ready to help a co-worker-- even if he was overloaded with his own work. With piles of paper and one or two coffee cups, Ramon's cubicle was typical of Empire. But no matter what was on his desk--the photos of his family always stood out the most.
On that same site, Ramon's friend and his daughter also left messages in memory of the man:
10/19/2004 9:15:13 PM
I met Ramon in 1980 when I first came here to the U.S. at the Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. We both live in Queens that time. My deepest sympathy to his wife and children. May he rest in eternal peace.
02/08/2005 8:40:53 PM
Ramon Grijalvo was much more than the title under his name could ever tell you. He was a devoted husband, married 23 years. He was the father of two children, 18 and 16 at the time he was taken away. I'm his daughter. I'm 20 years old now, and no matter how much time has passed, it is still so hard to see his picture here. I wish he was still here with us, but now I only have the wonderful memories he has left me.
I'll always remember your laugh, Papa. And how you would clap your feet when I would play the piano. I miss you so much. I love you.
Some personal messages, some business messages, these are what has been made public about Ramon. Obviously I'd have never heard of this family man, this loving Father, good friend and diligent worker were it not for 9/11.
I am not making him out a hero. It is sure he had his bad days and his good days. His happy and sad days. His boring days and his days of excitement and enjoyment. As the old axiom goes; he put his pants on one leg at a time just like everyone else.
But that is exactly the point. He was an average person living and working in the USA. I am not sure if he was a citizen, but regardless, he was just living his life, trying to get ahead, feed his family, and do his duty.
And he truly was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
His day surely started out like every other. His alarm may have rung, wakening him from slumber. He would have risen to dress for his normal day's labors. He may have grabbed a bite to eat or a coffee like he always did. Perhaps he left a tip for the paper vendor as he headed for the train, or hailed a cab. Into the elevator, up to his floor, preparing for the work ahead, coffee steaming on his desk, his actions would have been like that of millions of other Americans that morning.
Nothing out of the ordinary.
With a casual hello to coworkers that were similarly arriving at their work stations, Ramon settled in for what was to be an average day, at his regular job, in his everyday city in his adopted country.
Then murderous enemies to all civilized nations came calling at Ramon's place of work and the world changed. Ramon's everyday life became a shocking chapter in one of the most vicious acts of barbarism in the last 100 years.
No one warned Ramon. No one was able to come to his rescue.
This is the lesson of this act of hatred and evil. It didn't happen as Ramon toted a gun in the military for his country. It didn't happen to Ramon as he intrigued and schemed to attack those who perpetrated this act. It didn't happen to Ramon because he somehow "deserved" his fate.
Ramon was not "special" in that way. He was just like you and me. Going about his business. Unaware of the hatred, the blind inhuman hatred, that was burning in the polluted minds of our enemies.
So, ultimately, that is what makes Ramon's death rise above that of those whom one might expect to die for a "cause". Ramon was just an ordinary guy, leading his ordinary life, with people that loved him and expected him to come home at the end of the day just like always.
So, on these days before the Anniversary of this barbarous act on 9/11/01, I take this time to remember the average life of Ramon Grijalvo, a life like mine, like yours. But a life that was snuffed out by an evil we have all been left to deal with.
May God grant us the power to do so, so that Ramon's death may be avenged and justice done to the enemies of Civilization.
Rest In Peace, Ramon Grijalvo.
Thanks for the kind words and for also being a part of the 2,996 Project.
I enjoyed your posting on Mrs. Paris.
Thanks for stopping by.
You can catch my tribute to Soichoi Numata at my site as well. So please stop if you have a chance...