The sheer volume of e-mail forwards about friendship have made reflections on that bond seem trite but Jack and Evelyn Zelmanowitz’s recent conversation could stir the most jaded. The couple came to our Foley Square StoryBooth with Amy Weinstein of the National September 11 Memorial Museum to remember Jack’s older brother, Abe Zelmanowitz, a victim of the September 11 attacks.
Jack & Evelyn Zelmanowitz have been in indefatigable in their remembrances of Abe in the almost seven years that have passed since the tragedy. They have been featured on TV shows and documentaries and quoted in newspaper and magazine articles testifying to Abe thoughtfulness, loyalty and commitment as exemplified by his actions on September 11, 2001.
Abe Zelmanowitz was on the 27th floor of One World Trade Center, the north tower, on the morning of the attack. In the commotion following American Airlines Flight 11 crash into the tower, Abe rushed to the side of his friend of 12 years and fellow Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield computer programmer Ed Beyea, a quadriplegic, to offer assistance. Abe waited with his friend for help, despite entreaties from family to leave, and subsequently perished along with Ed Beyea and New York City Firefighter, Captain William F. Burke, Jr., who ascended to the 27th Floor to help evacuate Beyea, well aware that the south tower had already collapsed.
In addition to sharing the nuts and bolts of Abe’s selfless act that day, as detailed above, the Zelmanowitz’s shared how Abe’s act, told and retold, has encouraged people throughout the world. They have received letters from as far as Australia and are comforted by the inspiration their brother’s life provides as they mourn his untimely passing.
Pictured above are Jack and Evelyn Zelmanowitz. Before they exited the Foley Square StoryBooth, Evelyn read from a memorial song penned by a family member as Jack looked on.