Nine years ago tomorrow, on Sept 11, 2001, three New Canaan residents left for work on the morning train to Manhattan and never returned home that night to their families.
Joe Coppo was 47. He is memorialized by a baseball field and electronic scoreboard bearing his name at Waveny Park. He is remembered for his love of the sport and his many years of coaching New Canaan's young ball players.
Brad Fetchet was 24. His father, Frank Fetchet, established The Bradley James Fetchet Memorial Foundation, which is holding its annual golf tournament this Monday Sept 13 at the Country Club of New Canaan. The Foundation funds annual scholarships for NCHS and Bucknell College students. The Fetchets also are behind Voices of September 11th, which has its headquarters in New Canaan. Mary Fetchet founded the organization in 2001 as a clearinghouse for information and annual commemorative events for 9/11 families, survivors, rescue and recovery workers affected by the 9/11 attacks. She continues to be a national voice and advocate for those affected by 9/11.
Eamon McEneaney was 46. His wife and soulmate, Bonnie McEneaney has recently published a book, called Messages: Signs, Visits, and Premonitions from Loved Ones Lost on 9/11. Her message is essentially that the power of love forms an unbreakable bond that transcends death and lives on as a guiding force to those left behind.
Bonnie's own personal journey began several days after the attacks. As hospital searches proved futile in locating her husband, she increasingly sensed Eamon was not coming home. She describes going out in her yard during a still and hot afternoon. "I just spontaneously opened my mouth and yelled, "Eamon, where are you???" She immediately felt a deep wind rustle in the trees above her head, swoop through the yard and blow around her legs, actually lifting up her skirt. Then, she said, it stopped as suddenly as it started and the air was completely still. "I knew my question had been answered, 'He's Gone,' I thought, 'It's Over.'"
In Chapter Two, "I'm Here, I'm Ok...I Love You", the journey of faith and healing continues with inspirational stories from the nearly 200 9/11 victims' families she interviewed for her book, and who have claimed to have received spiritual messages or afterlife visitations from their lost loved ones. Some found pennies or objects in places where they should not have been. Others saw lights or music come on according to the routine of their loved one. They also say they have been extremely comforted and strengthened by these signs, experiences and unbroken connections they feel they have with those on the other side.
Thoughtful quotes are scattered throughout the book illuminating further that these experiences are not confined to a specific religion but include and transcend all religions.
Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe -- St. Augustine
Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous –Albert Einstein
Bonnie, whose professional background was in the financial services industry, believes that Eamon, who worked for Cantor-Fitzgerald and was also an accomplished poet "helped" her write this book. Bonnie asked Patch to "Recognize that the many people in Messages who have come forward to share their spiritual stories did so in the hope that others dealing with loss will be comforted. "I feel blessed to have had a project like this," she said.
Bonnie posted on Facebook, "I believe that we are all interconnected and the fact that I was led to this book only solidifies that belief. I have known for many years now that the greatest good we can do is to share our stories of love and hope, for that is what truly matters!
With this year's 9/11 anniversary being celebrated in an unusually charged atmosphere amidst the mosque controversy, Bonnie McEneaney again offered her thoughts in an article in the Sept. 9 edition of The Wall Street Journal. "Ground Zero has become synonymous with the word "division," she said. "As a nation, we experienced such unity after 9/11. I don't know where that went. It makes me very discouraged. We're all in this together, can't we find a way to move forward?"
This author has never forgotten the stories about the final calls made by people who knew it was going to be their last. All they ultimately attempted to say was "I love you." Maybe if we listen carefully, we can hear them softly singing to all of us, "All you need is love. Love is all you need."