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In Memory of Beverly Eckert

 
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DMCKEON
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Joined: Mar 17, 2005
Posts: 22572
Location: Staten Island

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:17 pm    Post subject: In Memory of Beverly Eckert
From Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:00 am to Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:59 am (included)
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This message has taken me a while to compose as I wanted my thoughts to be reflected accurately and not just fueled by anger. As you may, or may not know, last week was filled with heartbreak. “Nature's first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf's a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.” –Robert Frost

I was in Nevada and was woken up very early in the morning on Friday by a phone call that completely broke my heart. A very dear friend of mine was on the plane that crashed in Buffalo and, since I had been flying at the same time as her flight, I was unaware of the accident.

Beverly Eckert was one of the most amazing people I have ever had the chance of knowing. Had she not lost her husband, Sean, on 9/11/01, our paths probably never would have crossed.

I’ve been struggling over the past few days with this loss. But, I also thought about the idea of it being your time and God’s plan and all of that. And, truth be told, Beverly accomplished what she set out to do, granted, she should have been around for many, many more years, but she can rest easy, now, knowing she did it. She took the bull by the horns and made things happen. She stood her ground on many, many important issues that helped make our country safe and secure. "The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." -Einstein

There were times back in the beginning when I wanted to walk away and Beverly became somewhat of a mentor to me. She made all of us want to keep going and do more. She was a friend, an inspiration and an amazing, amazing human being. I am grateful to have had Bev in my life, if only for 7.5 years and everyone living in this country should be grateful to Beverly for making it a safer and more secure place.

Bev’s 9/11 Commission Testimony: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http://www.abc6.com%2Fnews%2Fwebextra%2F39566972.html
Article about Beverly: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http://www.latimes.com%2Fnews%2Fnationworld%2Fnation%2Fla-na-eckert14-2009feb14%2C0%2C6636504.story

Friday also brought about disappointment on another level. The “Black Sunday Ropes Trial” jury reached a verdict earlier in the week and it was announced. For almost two months of grueling testimony, these amazingly brave men, reliving ever single minute of that day.

I cannot feasibly comprehend how any jury in their right mind could acquit the tenants, landlord and building manager for their role in this tragedy. It makes no sense to me that the jury members could completely wash the defendants’ hands of any wrongdoing/responsibility in the deaths of Curt Meyran and John Bellew and the injuries of Brendan, Joey, Jeff and Gene.

Yes, there were other factors, but damn it if illegal walls and GREED didn’t play a role- making a quick, easy buck while sacrificing the safety of others. It baffles my mind and makes me wonder how these people and the jury members could live with themselves.

My heart breaks for the Bellew family and for the Meyran family as well as for Brendan, Joey D, Jeff and Gene and, actually for all FDNY members who on a daily basis risk their lives, not knowing what they are going to face when they open the door of a building. We owed it to these men to do the right thing...

New York Magazine’s article – Black Sunday survivors talk for the first time about what happened: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http://nymag.com%2Fnews%2Ffeatures%2F26574%2F

For verdict coverage, please see:
http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http://www.nydailynews.com%2Fopinions%2F2009%2F02%2F16%2F2009-02-16_burned_by_bronx_jury_panel_helps_suspect.html
http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http://www.nypost.com%2Fseven%2F02132009%2Fnews%2Fregionalnews%2Ftenants_acquitted_in_black_sunday_deaths_155001.htm

Please keep the Eckert family (and her 9/11 extended family) in your thoughts and prayers as they deal with the aftermath of this tragedy. And, never forget the heroes of Black Sunday--- New York's Bravest, always.

Native American Prayer
I give you this one thought to keep -
I am with you still - I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awake in the morning's hush
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not think of me as gone -
I am with you still - in each new dawn.


-Jill A. Pall
Founder, Adam's Angels http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http://www.adamsangels.org
Co-Founder, Brother-2-Brother Initiative

.......................................................................................................

It seems almost hard to remember. A mere four months - only weeks, really - after the World Trade Center towers collapsed, a disparate group of 9/11 families still reeling from the unthinkable loss of their loved ones were sent reeling further by accusations of being a greedy bunch of moneygrubbers with their eyes on the big dollar signs promised by Congress' Victim Compensation Fund.

The 9/11 families needed a voice, and Beverly Eckert, whose husband, Sean Rooney, died in the south tower while on the phone with her, found the courage, in his honor, to try to speak on their behalf. Reluctantly, upon request, she took up her pen, and on Jan. 28, 2002, her cogent, clear Op-Ed appeared in the Daily News.

In her grief, Eckert, who tragically died last Thursday in the plane crash near Buffalo, had "done the right thing." Speaking with uncanny intelligence in one voice for the incongruent mix of individuals who had been widely dismissed as having few rights, much less any real power, in those days, she defended the integrity and fortified the stance of the gathering force that was the 9/11 families.

When we sum up a life spent "doing the right thing," which we are forced to do now much too soon, what emerges strong and clear with Beverly Eckert is, in fact, power. We see the power of one, the power of many, the power of words, of democracy and compassion - and we see the power of love, for she did it all for Sean.

Consider a key passage from that first Op-Ed, "9/11 Families Want Fairness, Not Riches," Jan. 28, 2002:

". . . be very sure of this: No matter what the award, any victim's family would gladly trade places with those members of the public who have been so critical. We would give anything to be where they are, instead of where we are. If only we could."

That first stab at being a voice for the 9/11 community was to be one of three pieces she wrote for the Daily News at significant and controversial times in our post-9/11 history, even as she became an often quoted "9/11 widow."

Her second Daily News Op-Ed ran six months later, on July 24, after the first round of designs for Ground Zero had been publicly decried. The headline was: "Do the Memorial First at Ground Zero":

"To Gov. Pataki and New Jersey's Gov. Jim McGreevey, who oversee the PA, I say this: Listen. . . . Slow the process and do it right. We have time."

"Let an international design competition for the memorial begin Sept. 11. By Jan. 1, we'd have the proposals, and then planning for the rest of the acreage could begin."

Nancy O'Brien

........................................................................................................

We lost one of our own yesterday as Beverly Eckert died tragically in the crash of Continental Flight 3407.

Beverly was one of the good guys.

She always put the good of all the 9/11 families before herself.

Whether it be pushing Congress to do a better job or helping out a 9/11 family in need Beverly was always there.

I had the pleasure of working with Beverly on a few occasions and her passion and determination were unmatched.

She led by example and was more concerned with results than headlines.

The world was a better place because of Beverly and she will be forever remembered as someone who actually tried to make a difference after 9/11.

Please keep her and her family in your prayers.

Bev we loved you and always will.

Dennis McKeon

.......................................................................................................
One of the most remarkable women I know was killed in the plane crash near Buffalo.

Beverly Ekert was widowed on September 11, 2001.

Since then she has worked to implement safer standards for us all and a for means of honoring all who died in that attack.

She was physically stunning, but her special qualities went far beyond that beauty.

She spoke softly and with respect.

She worked as a mediator, not a divider.

She disseminated information, gathered facts, stood with us in all our turmoil and worked for justice.

When I last saw her one week ago, we met on our way in to a meeting with President Obama.

When I saw Beverly was attending, I knew that the meeting would be kind, sincere and meaningful.

She put me at ease and made me feel hopeful.

I simply can't believe she died such a violent death.

Such a sadness.

Diane Horning
Matthew's mom
WTC Families for Proper Burial

........................................................................................................
September 11th Advocates
In Honor of Beverly Eckert
February 13, 2009

We were shocked and deeply saddened by the news of the sudden death of our friend and fellow activist, Beverly Eckert. We offer our sincere condolences to her family.

She will truly be missed.

Patty Casazza
Monica Gabrielle
Mindy Kleinberg
Lorie Van Auken
.............................................................................................

This morning I was given the tragic news that Beverly Eckert, a 9-11 widow was killed in a plane crash in Buffalo.

Beverly was a beautiful and brilliant woman. She was tireless in her efforts to advocate for the 9-11 families and was co-chairperson of the group Voices of September 11th.

A member of the Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 commission,

Beverly Eckert, 53, always said she wanted "something constructive" to come from the death of her husband,Sean Rooney, in the World Trade Center.

After urging Congress to form an investigative commission, Eckert championed intelligence reform legislation.

I feel blessed to have known Beverly when we worked together after 9-11 and became friends.

I admired her rare combination of eloquence, grace and determination.

Despite the painful loss of her husband Sean, she was a stalwart advocate and I was so proud of all that she accomplished for the 9-11 community.

As a friend, she was devoted, honest and kind. I was so impressed with her intrepid spirit when she went off sailing for a year and will sorely miss her beautiful spirit.

Please keep her family in you prayers.

Best,
Marian Fontana
..........................................................................................................

Beverly was aboard Continental Flight 3407 that crashed in Buffalo, NY last night. She was on her way to Buffalo to celebrate what would have been her husband Sean’s 58th birthday with family and friends, and to attend the presentation of a scholarship she had established in his memory at Canisius High School.

I am privileged to have known and worked with Beverly , whose own remarkable legacy of love bravery,Intenseness and devotion to the the 9/11 families should never be forgotten
God Bless!!

Bill Doyle

.......................................................................................................
It is with great sadness I am writing to inform you that our friend and colleague Beverly Eckert died tragically last night in a plane crash near Buffalo, New York.

After the death of her husband Sean Rooney on 9/11, Beverly joined me in co-founding Voices of September 11th to provide the 9/11 families a voice and advocate on their behalf. Beverly was passionate and deeply committed to improving the safety and security of Americans. She worked tirelessly to advocate for the creation of the 9/11 Commission and legislation based on its recommendations and more recently supported the implementation of the WMD Commission recommendations. Beverly was among the 9/11 family members who met with President Obama last Friday to discuss the closing of Guantanamo.

Beverly's friendship, spirit and commitment were an inspiration to all those who had the privilege to work with her. It was an honor to know her and her friendship will be sorely missed. At this difficult time, we offer our heartfelt condolences and our prayers to her family and friends and all those in the 9/11 community whose life she touched.

Warm Regards,

Mary and the VOICES Staff

..........................................................................................................

A Tribute to Beverly

We are devastated by the loss of our friend, Beverly Eckert.

After the death of her husband, Sean Rooney, at the World Trade Center, Beverly worked tirelessly for improved security. She was bright, articulate, forthright and totally committed to improving the lives of others. She put her heart and soul into that effort. Many Americans have benefited from her dedicated spirit and determination.

We will miss her.


The Family Steering Committee

Carol Ashley
Kristen Breitweiser
Patty Casazza
Mary Fetchet
Monica Gabrielle
Bill Harvey
Mindy Kleinberg
Carie Lemack
Sally Regenhard
Lorie Van Auken
Robin Wiener
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