Today, as part of Project 2,996, I’m going to memorialize one of the thousands of innocent people killed eight years ago this morning.
Richard Hall was one of 2,603 people killed inside the World Trade Center itself.
Like many of 9/11’s victims, information on Richard is hard to come by. I know that he was 49 years old and lived in Purchase, an upstate NY town about an hour and a half drive from lower Manhattan.
Maybe Richard was at work that morning, or maybe he was just visiting–perhaps he was there for business, or maybe just to eat breakfast at Windows on the World and see the fantastic view from the observation deck. Did he drive to lower Manhattan that morning? Did he take an MTA-North train from the nearby Harrison station? Did he take the subway to the World Trade Center station, or did he catch a cab?
Here I am, trying to memorialize one of the thousands of people taken from us on 9/11 and all I can talk about is his commute.
Sadly, I just don’t know very much about Richard Hall. But Richard had decades of life, decades of stories and experiences–he had a childhood, parents, he may have even had a wife and children. Heck, he may have even had grandchildren.
And regardless of the details of his life, Richard Hall was far too young to die. He should be alive today–he should have lived for decades beyond the day of his untimely death, long enough to retire and relax and enjoy the fruits of a productive life well-lived. Like anyone taken before their time, Richard Hall represents a life unfinished, incomplete work, decades of unmet potential stolen by people with no right to take it.
Far too many victims of 9/11 have gone nameless and faceless—we know far more about the evil men who planned and carried out those attacks than we know about the thousands of innocent people they killed. All too often, the dead are just numbers, statistics, and it becomes easy to forget that each and every person killed represented an entire life, decades worth of stories that are now, sadly, a part of history.
So, take some time today to remember 49-year-old Richard Hall of Purchase, NY, and the thousands of other innocent people killed eight years ago this morning.
UPDATE: I found more information on Richard Hall and his wonderful life.
Richard B. Hall had a wife, Donna, and two children–Shawn and Katie. Richard was a baseball player back in the day and his son Shawn followed in his footsteps, playing little league. Perhaps because of this Richard was also a fan of the Little League World Series, and he was also a golfer who often played rounds with Carl, a close childhood friend of his.
Here are more tributes to Richard Hall from those who knew him best:
Still will never forget – worked with Rick long ago – know that he lives on in the hearts of people who knew him – what a good guy… Michelle Maxner-Rocke, Denver, Colorado
I worked under him at Anistics during 85-87 and he was always happy and jovial to be around, despite his position of being #2 in the office. He was very welcoming to me in my first job out of college. I will never forget him and the way that he treated everyone in the office. I can recall him pretending to be amused by the silly things that I had posted on my cubicle walls. May God grant his loved ones peace in the memory that those that worked with him respected him and trusted him and enjoyed his company…David Leathers, Tigard, Oregon
We think of Rick today, and his wife and children. We think particularly of Shawn, who lost his Dad, who loved him so much. Carl was Rick’s boyhood friend, and they remained good golf buddies. Our whole family visited him at the Tower, where he toured us around the 106th floor in 1999. Sincerely…Carl and Ellen Nathe, Lexington, Kentucky
The first shift I was assigned down there was Thursday, September 13th. I remember that because it rained like hell that night, and, I found out later, that’s when Rick was recovered. Rick’s my uncle, and I’ll always miss him. I drive past the Trade Center a few times a week during my commute, and I always think of him and smile. Thank you to everyone- family, friends, and all others- who has written something here. Rick and everyone else we lost that day will never be forgotten…John Tennissen, NYPD, Staten Island, New York
Rick I was thinking of you while watching the Little League World Series. It was a good one this year. I can’t believe it has been five years since we went through that hell. It doesn’t seem to get easier for those you left behind. I hope you are at peace and are watching over your family….Janet Behrens, Brooklyn, New York
Donna: Rick was my college classmate, and we roomed together or next door for at least 3 of our 4 years. He was a helluva nice guy, very bright, with no “ego interference.” Great 2nd baseman, too. I lost touch after we graduated, and I tried several times to locate him through the college, but never succeeded. I’d wanted to “catch up” and find out if his post-college life was as upbeat as he usually was in college. I didn’t even know about his death in the WTC bombings until I learned from a classmate just now. I hope you can find a little more comfort from knowing that he was a good kid even before he became the good man that you married. Best wishes…Doug Sanderson, McLean, Virginia
I graduated from Pleasantville High School one year before “Ricky”. A year can be a mammoth interval in adolescence, but we shared common sports interests and I knew Rick then as an avid sportsmen, a good student, and a hard worker. He had a quiet but confident presence and the comments of his adult friends and relations capture the blossom of a lovely man I regretfully “lost to follow-up” years ago. Now a year later, and in the years to come I will continue to offer prayers for his family…Stephen Kurachek, Minneapolis, Minnesota
I “met” Rick over the phone several years ago through my boss and was fortunate enough to have had the pleasure of meeting him in person a couple of times. I always loved answering the phone and hearing Rick’s voice on the other end, it never failed to bring a smile to my face and brighten my day. He was just that type of person. Always a pleasure to speak with. When I think of him I’m reminded of this poem that was in a card given to me when my grandmother passed many, many years ago:
The tide recedes but leaves behind bright seashells on the sand, the sun goes down but gentle warmth still lingers on the land, the music stops but yet it echoes on in sweet refrains, for everything that passes, something beautiful remains.May our beautiful memories of a beautiful person never fade away…Chrissy Lenihan, Chester, New York
Mr. Hall was my old boss I remember him being happy all the time. I worked for him when the company was under Frank B. Hall we were at Wall Street Plaza that is where I also meet Mayra. God bless Mrs. Hall and her family for there lost. My prayer are with you…Ivette Mercado, Queens, New York
Richard Hall was my uncle. Although I didn’t see him often, I will forever treasure the times we spent together and the many laughs that were shared. I will miss him terribly and I will always have a place for him in my heart. Matt and I love you, Uncle Rick.Love…Colleen Ziemkiewicz, Rutherford, New Jersey