Five years ago today a series of terrorist attacks set in motion events that have touched the lives of all Americans. The news media and entertainment community have been preparing for the anniversary and coverage of the actual day began some time ago. Yesterday, President Bush and a list of other elected officials were at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan for memorial observances. Thousands died in the attacks that day and many more in the military actions that have followed. As long as there is hate in the world and fanatics who view destruction as a better avenue to take than positive change we will continue to see war. Each life lost needs to be remembered. Fathers, Mothers, Sons, Daughters, Brothers and Sisters. All of them important and all of them missed.
Today I am turning this space over to the memory of Windows on the World and 72 employees of the restaurant, one security guard and six carpenters working on a renovation of its famed wine cellar who were killed that day. When American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center there were also 16 Walters Financial employees and 71 conference guests attending a technology seminar Walters was hosting at Windows on the World. Everyone of these people lost their lives. The restaurant was located on the 106th and 107th floors. There was no way out.
Windows on the World was more than just a restaurant in the sky. It was 50,000 square feet space that people went to in order to celebrate special moments in their lives. In 2000, Windows reported revenues of $37.5 million, making it the highest grossing restaurant in the United States. The views were incredible, the food quality high and the bar a great place for a drink. Windows on the World's wine list was one of the best in the country and the Windows on the World Complete Wine Course created by Windows wine guru Kevin Zraly survives to this day as part of the restaurant's legacy. Other reminders of Windows exist as surviving employees have worked to rebuild their lives. A new restaurant opened in Manhattan earlier this year called Colors (www.colors-nyc.com) with about 25 former Windows employees on its staff. Port House New York in the Time Warner Center, run by Windows Executive Chef Michael Lomonaco, opens soon. Other staff are making contributions to the world of food and drink throughout New York and elsewhere.
Today we remember those who did nothing more than get up, say goodbye to the people they loved and head to a job in one of the world's greatest restaurants. They paid for this simple act with their lives and they need to be remembered.
Windows on the World Staff Killed on Sept. 11, 2001
Stephen Adams, Sophia Buruwa Addo, Shabbir Ahmed, Antonio J. Alvarez, Telmo Alvear, Manuel O. Asitimbay, Samuel Ayala, Ivhan Luis Carpio Bautista, Veronique (Ronnie) Bowers, Jonathan Briley, Jesus Cabezas, Manuel-Gregorio Chavez, Luis Chimbo, Mohammed S. Chowdhury, Jeffrey Coale, Jaime Concepcion, Annette Dataram, Jose De Pena, Nancy Diaz, Luke Dudek, Doris Eng, Sadie Ette, Henry Fernandez, Lucille Virgen Francis, Enrique A. Gomez, Jose B. Gomez, Wilder Gomez, Victor Paz-Gutierrez, Norberto Hernandez, Ysidro Hidalgo-Tejada, Clara Hinds, Heather Ho, John Holland, Francois Jean-Pierre, Eliezer (Junior) Jimenez Jr., Howard Kane, Eugene Kniazev, Abdoulaye Kone, Victor Kwarkye, Alan Lafrance, Jeffrey LaTouche, Yang-Der Lee, Orasri Liangthanasarn, Leobardo Lopez, Jan Maciejewski, Jay Magazine, Charles Mauro, Manuel Mejia, Antonio Melendez, Nana Akwasi Minkah, Martin Morales, Blanca Morocho, Leonel Morocho, Carlos Munoz, Jerome Nedd, Juan Nieves Jr., Jose R. Nunez, Christine Olender, Isidro Ottenwalder, Jesus Ovalles, Manuel Patrocino, Alejo Perez, John F. Puckett, Moises N. Rivas, David B. Rodriguez-Vargas, Gilbert Ruiz, Juan Salas, Jacqueline Sayegh, Khamladai K. (Khami) Singh, Roshan (Sean) Singh, Abdoul Karim Traore and Jupiter Yambem.
Carpenters Working on the Wine Cellar
Manuel DaMota, Thomas F. Hughes, Frank Mancini, Joe Mistrulli, Joshua Poptean and Obduilio Ruiz-Diaz