Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 11, 2014 -- I Remember Steven Harris Russin

For several years now I have participated in Project 2996,    a tribute to the 2,996 innocent victims of 9/11, where bloggers eulogize each victim. Previously, I have remembered Lt. Col. Jerry Don Dickerson Jr.Mary Lenz Wieman, Mark Francis Broderick, Capt. Patrick J, Brown, Hagay Shefi, Alison Marie Wildman, Daniel Thomas Afflitto, and Donna Bernaerts-Kearns. Please check out these tributes as well today, as they deserve to be remembered too.  Today, I remember Steven Harris Russin.

Steven was born in Marlboro, New Jersey, the town in which I live.  Two years ago, the town ceremonially renamed several streets after victims of 9/11.  My street was renamed Steven Russin Way.  Since the renaming, I wondered who Steven Russin was.  I was going to do last year's tribute to him, but decided that I needed to eulogize a victim from another location, other than the World Trade Center.

Steven Russin was a child at heart.  That is how several online articles and eulogies about Steven start out.  Steven was born and raised in Marlboro, NJ, attended Marlboro High School, where he carried on a successful baseball card trading business, and later, Ithaca College, in upstate New York.  Like many of the victims on that faithful day, he worked for Cantor Fitzgerald, as a government securities trader.

However, work was not what defined his life.  Steven's life was his son Alec and the unborn twin girls he never met, Ariella and Olivia, who were born four days after 9/11.  Ariella even wrote a letter to Steven, which was published in
The Legacy Letters: Messages of Life and Hope from 9/11 Family Members,” which she reads in the video below (the proceeds of sale of this book go to the Tuesday's Children organization.)

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Like Steven, I too am a child at heart.  I also would have been front and center in that water gun fight shown in the video.  From all accounts, Steven, like most of the victims I have written about, appears to be someone I truly wish I could have met.  I would have loved to have talked to him about his kids and share stories of my own children.  To discuss how we both balance demanding work lives with the desire to spend as much time with our children. While I have not met Steven, I am sure that several people I know have, and I hope they feel free to comment on his life here.

Steven's family and friends have set up the The Steven Russin Children Assistance Program Fund, who's mission is to enrich the lives of children of families with financial limitations.  In addition, this child at heart has a playground named after him.  What a fitting tribute!


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