National Horror Strikes A Personal Note

NOVEMBER 2001
- Association Members And Families Are Victims -
The horror that gripped our nation following the terrorist attacks on
New York and Washington DC did not escape directly impacting our
Association members and staff. As our officers and staff sat helplessly
watching the terror unfold on television that fateful Tuesday morning,
little did anyone know that two of our members and the brother of one
of our part-time employees would end up as victims.As the hours went
by, word came that two of the hijacked plans originated from Boston.
Combined with the news that thousands of people had been killed on the
ground, we knew that many of our 52,000 members would somehow be
impacted.

With
so many good people lost to this senseless act, it has been difficult
for us to know the story of each individual. On that note, we would
like to shed some light on the lives of three individuals, who touched
our Association.

James and Mary Trentini

Shortly
after receiving a ride to Logan International Airport from their
daughter, James and Mary Trentini of Everett boarded American Airlines
Flight 11 for what was supposed to be a trip to California to visit
another daughter and baby-sit for their grandchildren. Seated in row
30, seats A-B, they were unaware of the five terrorists seated some 25
rows ahead.

Both
James and Mary Trentini had been members of our Association since their
retirement from public service in 1996. Jim, a member of the Teachers’
Retirement System, retired from the Burlington school system, where he
had been the head of the health education department. Mary had long
served as the assistant to the athletic director at Triton Regional
High School, located in Byfield. She was a member of the Essex County
Retirement System.

Like many of our
members, Jim and Mary spent a great deal of time with their large
family, which includes three daughters, a son, and four grandchildren.
Last year they drove cross country to visit with daughter Patti in
California, while spending time touring America. Recent winters were
spent on Florida’s Gold Coast, visiting with son James. Two other
daughters remain on the North Shore.

Jim
was known as an avid sports fan, who had a particular love for football
and fishing. He was well known on the North Shore as a longtime
football coach at Burlington High School. Even after retiring, he
exercised every day, staying in tip-top shape.

Mary
was known for her great skill as a seamstress. She would often make
clothing as gifts for her grandchildren. She also had a knack for
making curtains and other various linens. Like her husband, Mary was
also in good health.

“My brother and
sister-in-law were wonderful people, who were very devoted to family,
and simply loved life. Being with their family meant the world to
them,” said Patricia Malatesta of Wakefield, who is the sister of Jim
Trentini. “This horrible thing that has been done to our family and our
country just does not seem possible to me. I keep hoping to see my
brother walk through the door.”

Malatesta
describes a long, painful Tuesday morning as the family awaited
confirmation as to which plane her brother had been on. “We knew Jim
and Mary had flown out of Logan that morning, but it was not until I
spoke with my niece that I knew they had been passengers on Flight 11.

“What
makes this especially difficult for us is that our family just buried
our mother on August 19. That was the last time the entire family was
together all at once. At least we have that memory fresh in our minds.
I could not have asked for a better brother....we will all miss them
dearly.”

Due to the national crisis
that the terrorist attack created, son James and daughter Patti were
unable to fly home to be with their family. With the airports closed,
each was forced to drive home to Massachusetts, in order to reach the
memorial service.

“The way everyone
has pulled together has been so touching to us. Countless friends and
neighbors have been with us ever since the news broke,” continued
Malatesta. “If this helps unite the country and bring people together,
then maybe a little good can come of something so horrible.”

“Mary
and Jim were not only outstanding people, but also tremendous parents,”
said Ron Corcoran, who retired this year as athletic director at Triton
High. “Mary was my administrative assistant for many years and Ron
taught at Triton before transferring to Burlington.

“St.
Mary’s church (Rowley) was overflowing with friends at a memorial held
the Saturday after Mary and Jim died. People were standing outside
listening through the open windows. They will be greatly missed by
everyone who knew them.”

Marty Proctor

Mary
Griffin of Walpole has worked part-time for our Association office over
the past several years. Her brother Everett M. “Marty” Proctor, 44, a
graduate of Xaverian Mass. High and Fordham University, was in the
habit of calling Mary from his office several times each week.

Neither
Mary, nor her mother and father, Everett and Kay Proctor of East
Walpole, will again receive any calls from Marty. He was at work on
floor 101 of Tower 1 of the World Trade Center on the morning of
September 11 when highjacked American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into
the building and exploded.

“During
the first week we kept holding out hope,” said Mary. “Early on, there
were reports of a few survivors being found in the rubble. It was
heartbreaking for my mom and dad...At a certain point, there was
acceptance that he was not alive, but we still wanted closure. My
parents sent Marty’s dental records and a lock of his hair for DNA to
New York officials. Everyone wants closure, however that may not be
physically possible in many cases.”

Mary
said that Marty loved New York. “He lived in Connecticut for a short
period of time, but when he landed a new job with Cantor Fitzgerald
Securities, he moved back to his condo on Water Street in Lower
Manhattan, a five minute walk from the Trade Center. He loved his job
and he loved New York.”

Marty, a popular youth in his hometown of Walpole, had made many friends in New York, among them Marie Lugano.

“Marie
has been our lifeline to New York,” said Mary. She spent the first week
visiting hospitals hoping that she might possibly find Marty. Many
people had been taken to hospitals without any identification...But
they were eventually identified, as were the early bodies that were
recovered, and we then knew it would be a long ordeal. I can’t say
enough about what Marie meant to our family during the dark days.

“Even
though our family has had a personal loss, I still think of others who
have died, especially the brave firefighters, police and other rescue
workers who gave their lives in attempting to save others unknown to
them, such as Marty. They all went to heaven together that day.”

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