“Gary Paul Geidel (December 11, 1956 – September 11, 2001) was a New York City Fire Department firefighter killed during the September 11 attacks shortly before scheduled retirement. His brother Ralph Geidel, also a firefighter, helped in the 9/11 rescue effort as well and around 2014 died of complications attributed to toxins he inhaled at the scene.” Wikipedia
I did not know Gary personally, I did not know his family, I painted this for a friend’s mother who knew Gary’s mom very well.
My father’s cousin’s husband was in one of the towers – he didn’t work there – he’d been there only for an interview – on 9/11 his story changed to past tense
Originally published 9/11/14
For Americans, September 11th has become a day of reflection. On this day we remember the fallen, the injured, the loss, the lessons, the heartbreak, the world…
On that pristine cloudless day in 2001, the New York skyline was blackened. Americans were shocked by tragedy. What happened afterward was nothing short of spectacular. A collective spirit rose up like a phoenix. We grieved a long while then began rebuilding the fallen stone.
After 9/11 many of us looked for ways to help out. I painted hundreds of beach pebbles then planted myself in front of the local grocery store. I sold these rocks for $1 but many teary eyed people donated so much more.
Through the generosity of many, I was able to donate over $1,200 to FDNY Rescue 1. They lost eleven men, half their company. The portrait below is of FDNY Rescue 1, Firefighter Gary Geidel (44 years of age), lost 9/11/2001. This portrait went to his mother.
There are many parts of the world that can’t look back–their lands are still war zones. I pray for worldwide peace. It is very, very difficult…but not impossible.
For those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001, my thoughts are with you on this sad day.