Friday, September 11, 2009

Those names have faces...

"Throughout the ages, great buildings have been built to celebrate ingenuity and daring imagination. Great architecture influences the lives of those who use them, or live nearby. They stand for dreams and aspirations, they represent an effort to build a civilization, they become an heritage of pride and a witness of the human drama that unfolds in our daily lives.
Therefore, great buildings have always been targets for those who wage wars. By toppling the temples of a nation, they seek not only to conquer, but to destroy the foundations of a living society…”

Eight years ago, my life was forever impacted by what I woke up to see unfolding on my TV. The events of September 11, 2001 evoked a grief and mourning in me that I had never felt before. I never want to forget the magnitude of what happened on that day and in the days and months that followed. I never want my fellow citizens to forget or diminish those events in their minds. I joined  Project 2,996 to remember and pay tribute to one of the victims and his family this year and for years to come. It is important to remind ourselves that 9/11/01 was more than just a day of terrible events with memories that upset us; that on that day, the lives of real people were taken. There are countless websites with lists of the victims’ names, but on those lists, every single one of those names has a story. Those names belong to people with faces and families and friends.  

Mr. Arkady Zaltsman moved to the United States from Moldova with his wife, Zhanna, and his daughter, Laura in 1990 and settled in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. He studied architecture, and contributed to the building of the House of Parliament in Chisinau, Moldova, before moving to the U.S. 

Zaltsman loved New York and, according to his wife, “was very proud to live here.” He made sure to take his visiting guests to the Brooklyn Heights Esplanade to show them his favorite view, overlooking Lower Manhattan. He celebrated his 45th birthday with nearly 100 friends, colleagues, and clients.

In 2000, Zaltsman joined the world-famous architectural and engineering firm, Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill as a technical coordinator in the interiors department. Coworkers describe him as detailed, a perfectionist, and “an advocate for the client,” ensuring that designs were carried out in the field. He was meeting with a client on the 105th floor of Tower 2 of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Twenty days later, Zaltsman was posthumously promoted to Associate at Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill.

Those who knew Arkady remember his love of New York City, his dedication to his work, and the way his face would light up and his eyes would shine when speaking about his wife and daughter.

“…Arkady Zaltsman, a gifted architect, devoted his career to design buildings, not to destroy them. He has always struggled to build something to endure, to inspire a community, to celebrate the triumph of kindness and human will over terror, fear, adversity, prejudice and intolerance.”  -Luiz Fisberg and Marilia Sant’Anna de Almeida (family friend from São Paulo, Brazil )


Arkady Zaltsman

1956- September 11, 2001

Rest in peace.


To read more about Arkady Zaltsman-

Never forget.


Alexa said...

Thank you for keeping his memory and everyone else who died that day alive.

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