Monday, September 11, 2006

The 2996 Project - Alayne F. Gentul

To most of us 11 September 2001 started just like any other day. We got up, did the things you do in the morning and left for work.

This is how my day started and I’m quite sure that this is how that day began for Alayne Gentul too. Alayne was a director of human resources for Fiduciary Trust Company. Unfortunately Alayne’s office was located in The World Trade Centre.

What happened that morning is now a matter of historical record. What is often overlooked is that Alayne along with the other 2995 who perished that day were/are more than a mere statistic to be used for political capital. Each one had a heart & soul, a life, families and friends who loved them.

Mrs Gentul was a loving wife to Jack, who was the dean of students at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. They were married for 23 years and lived in Mountain Lakes, N.J. As well as a wife Alayne was also mother to two sons. Alex and Robbie who were 12 and 8 at the time.

As the planes hit the twin towers Mrs Gentul’s sense of responsibility to her colleagues took over. When she left her office on the 90th floor it was to move upwards to other departments rather than downward to the street and possible safety.

In this day and age the word hero has been devalued by over usage. He strikes a home run, he’s a hero. He make a shitty move, he’s a hero. In this case however it appears that it would be entirely appropriate to label Mrs Gentul as a true hero. By making her way through the various departments of the Fiduciary Trust Company she is now credited as having saved the lives of 40 co-workers.

On clearing the floors for which she was responsible she paused briefly to phone her husband. Recalling this conversation Jack remembers that “She said she loved the kids and we said we loved each other and we said goodbye."

I understand that Mrs Gentul was a music fan with a particular affection for Louis Prima. I think it would therefore be appropriate to sign off by dedicating a line from one of the great mans songs to Alayne, a great lady.

Buona sera, signorina kiss me goodnight.


whitesnake said...

Beautifully put

shandi said...

you did a wonderful job with this dedication. very well written dave.

Chief Oyibo said...

Truly touching!

Raggedy said...

Wonderful Tribute!
Thank you.
These are sad and hard to read....
I am honored to be a part of this project.
Mine is posted also...

The 2996 link is down. I have a new link on my site to view the participants.

Bless you...

Shelli said...

Beautiful. You did right by her.

Anonymous said...

She seemed like a nice person. I have absolutely no idea who she was, but i did watch the movie "Inside the twin towers" to which she was heavily featured in the 2WTC parts of the film. That was pretty heartbreaking hearing the reenactment of her "Final Goodbye" to her husband.