Thursday, September 10, 2009
Early Tuesday morning on 9.11.01 John "Jack" Rhodes made his way from Howell, NJ to the offices of AON Corporation on the 92nd floor of 2 World Trade Center. It was a beautiful morning in New York City. The summer humidity had come to end, but the chill of the fall had yet to set in. There was barely a cloud in the sky.
The beauty of that morning did not last long for New Yorkers. Shortly before 9 am, the first of two planes crashed into The World Trade Center. The innocence of our beliefs that our shores protected us was shattered. Within just a few short hours, four planes were hijacked, crashed into three buildings, a field in Pennsylvania, and both towers collapsed and the Pentagon was still burning. 2996 innocent people were brutally murdered. More than 200 from AON alone. America had been attacked.
John "Jack" Frederick Rhodes was among the dead. Jack was among other things, a husband and father. He was man who was described as a person who loved life and loved his family. His life was cut short at the age of 57. He still had so much life yet to live. He was not able to welcome the new family members over the past eight years. His plans for retirement with his lovely wife Linda will not happen. His daughter no longer has her daddy; and every girl needs her daddy. No matter what age she is.
In the past eight years your family has found a way to move on. To smile and laugh again. To remember your happy times and to hold the sweet memories close without feeling the overwhelming loss of your senseless murder. Just as you would want them to do.
Jack, we want to make a pledge to your memory. We will never forget the sacrifice that you made. We will honor your loss and we will honor your family by doing everything that we can to protect all Americans moving forward. Our pledge to you is that we will do everything within our power to make sure that no other person loses his life to a twisted and dangerous sense of God's will, and no other families will feel the pain that yours has experienced.
Rest in Peace Mr. Rhodes. While you cannot wrap your arms around your family, we will. Our love and support goes to your family not just today, but always.