September 11, 2006
Jose Cardona left for his job at Carr Futures on the morning of 11 September 2001, and never came home. The office he worked in was housed in the World Trade Center, and he was there on that horrible day when two airplanes were flown into the WTC towers by murderous fanatics.
Prior to that fateful day, Jose lived with his wife, Paulina. He had worked for Wall Street companies for fourteen years and was employed at Carr Futures as a clerk. He had been working a second job on Saturdays by driving around in the family car and selling fish and various wares from his home country of Ecuador in order to make extra money for the baby boy he and Paulina were expecting in January 2002.
He had an eleven year old daughter, Sasha, from a previous marriage whom he loved dearly, and who loved him just a much.
He enjoyed spending time with Sasha and also Miguel, 14, Paulina's son.
Jose loved his family, and he enjoyed life. He is still missed by his daughter, who wrote this at a memorial website on 11 December, 2001:
Daddy, I will always love you no matter what happens you will always be in my heart. We all miss you and will never forget you. I love you!!!!
Sasha continues to write notes to her father at various other websites. In April of this year, now a 16 year old young woman, she wrote:
I remember how we use to play games and also when I use to get a low grade you use to always tell me that I could do it.I had your love I had it all. Im thankful for everyday you gave me Im thankful cause I was loved by you. Daddy how I wish you were with me I would give up anythin to be with you to bring you back to life. luv u
Jose and Paulina's son, Joshua, now four, is growing up, writes Miguel in October 2005.
Jose was considered a warm, wise, and helpful man by many of those who knew him and commented about him in various memorials. He was the friend of Danny Lopez, a colleague at Carr Futures.
The following profile about Jose was originally published in the New York Times on 9 December 2001.
The Good Things
Pictures of José Cardona show him dancing on a conga line with his wife and friends, clowning around after getting off a horse during a vacation, having dinner with his daughter from a previous marriage — Sasha, 11 — and his wife's son from hers, Miguel, 14.
He loved his family, liked the good things in life and wanted his wife, Paulina Cardona, 33, to look sexy.
She said her husband was so touched he cried when she surprised him with a tattoo of a rose on her left breast, his idea. And he cried again, she said, when the couple found out that she was expecting their first child and the baby would be a son.
Knowing his family would expand, Mr. Cardona wanted to make extra money to buy a house. So on Saturdays, the couple would get up at 6 a.m. and travel around New York City in their car selling fish and products from Ecuador, their home country, to friends and friends of friends.
When his customers found out that Mr. Cardona was missing at the World Trade Center, some asked: "He sold fish there?"
In fact, Mr. Cardona, 35, had been working for Wall Street companies for 14 years, most recently as a clerk at Carr Futures.
The baby is due in January.
Rest in peace, Jose Cardona, and may God continue to give strength and comfort to your family.
This is my way of honoring Jose's memory. If you would like to join me in remembering him, you are welcome to add a comment.