Friday, September 11, 2009

Project 2996

was started by Dale Challener Roe as a way to remember the victims of September 11th, 2001. I partcipated several years ago, and was glad to get an email from Dale asking me to again participate this year. I was asked to memorialize Robert J. Baierwalter.

I couldn't find much about Robert, a few online guestbooks, one of which contained the comment: "He was cool."

The following is what was printed about Robert in the New York Times Special Section 'Portraits', in which the Times presented brief snapshots of each victim of the day:

Robert J. Baierwalter:A Man Who Took His Time
Published: Sunday June 16th, 2002

Robert J. Baierwalter thought outside of the box. In high school, he and some friends hoisted a drum set, piece by piece, up to his bedroom so his mother would not know (at least not for a few hours). Decades later, as an account underwriter for FM Global, he liked creating insurance deals his co-workers thought impossible. And when other fathers sped to work early, he stayed home until 8:45 a.m., when Veronica, 14; Richard, 11; and Raymond, 6, left for school.
"He watched their grades like a hawk," said his wife, Laura. "It's a very difficult job, I'm finding out now. He used to ask Veronica every three days, `What's your math average?' and he was always on the phone with the teachers."
She and his friends remember how Mr. Baierwalter, 44, was always late. "Now that I look back, I see he never rushed for anything," said Debbie Falls, a neighbor. "He enjoyed life. He took his time. He didn't have much time here."
Mr. Baierwalter, who lived in Albertson, N.Y., worked in Norwalk, Conn., but was at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 for a meeting at 8:30 a.m. "It was probably the first time in his life he was on time," Ms. Falls said.

It's my honor to remember Robert today. Peace be to his family, to his widow.

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