Tribute to An Unsung Hero


Aerial view of the debris field of the North T...

Horrible chaos during the Twin Tower tragedy, a nightmare that still haunts people today. (Image via Wikipedia)

The limpid tears of heaven were spilled as if the celestial beings are mourning again for the 9/11 innocent victims.

Today, I have a reason to cry and to mourn for the Twin Tower tragedy’s victims. But this is neither to “cry over spilled milk”, nor to reminisce the evil deeds of the terrorists. Today, it’s a brand new day to be bereaved for my healing sake, I am writing a tribute for an unsung hero that I only knew today.

Last August 31, 2011, I planned to write a tribute for my younger brother, Ben Jathniel, who passed away on March 31, 2011. During that day, it was five months that has passed after his death. I attempted to think about the fondest memories of one of my closest siblings, but later abandoned the thought. Moving on isn’t that easy. During his burial, I felt at peace and accepted he’s gone. It was but for the moment. Now, as I look back, my heart is wound afresh. Maybe I could write about him later. Maybe, just maybe, soon!

This morning, I have many things in mind. I have many thoughts to write. But when I opened the Word Press site…BANG! Without any hint, a bullet got me bull’s eye, right in the very core of my heart. Vulnerable, my eyes were glued to one of the Freshly Pressed — Remembering the Victims of 9/11 PROJECT 2,996 (http://project2996.wordpress.com/).

Too eager to read, I clicked the icon and BAM!

I realized it’s been a decade ago. The 9/11 tragedy happened a long time ago but the horrible memories are still fresh as if it happened yesterday. Most leading news network features the 9/11 memoir today. It may be fresh to those who saw what happened that day. How much more to the families who are still grieving over the loss of innocent lives?

I browsed the page on the PROJECT 2,996, WE REMEMBER – the list of the names without tribute yet. While browsing, I thought of looking for Filipino victims. There, I found Ivhan Luis Carpio Bautista, age 24. Since I have no idea yet of who  he was, I browsed the Google and I found several links. I later on knew he isn’t a Filipino. But it is okay still, I’m not a racist. I looked for a Filipino so I have something to relate with. I’ve found another Bautista in the list and thought they’re related, but Marlyn C. Bautista, age 46 is a Filipino and she already had a tribute.

According to CNN, Ivhan was working at World Trade Center, Tower 1, 107th floor when the 9/11 tragedy happened. He worked at a restaurant called Windows on the World. Developed by restaurateur Joe Baum and designed initially by Warren Platner, Windows on the World occupied 50,000 square feet (4,600 m²) of space in the North Tower. The restaurants operated from April 1976 until 2001 when they were destroyed in the September 11 attacks.

Ivhan had a more tragic death because on that same day of his 24th birthday, his life was robbed during his worst nightmare. It was the devil’s scheme that his precious life was taken from him. I still don’t fully understand why God allowed that tragedy to happen, but for me, “God is too wise to be mistaken, God is too good to be unkind.”

According to his niece or nephew (there’s no identity) at Kanyetothe:

R.I.P to my uncle, Ivhan Luis Carpio Bautista.

He was only 24 years old, 9/11/2001 was his birthday and also his day off from work at the WTC.

The day before the attack he was accepted into John Jay College of Criminal Justice and later that night asked by a co-worker to cover his shift the next day.

I remember when he lived one block away from me, in my grandmother’s basement. I used to always go downstairs to play catch with him and he used to show me his karate trophies, telling me all the stories of how he won them. He knew how much I loved to write short stories and poetry and encouraged me to keep doing what made me happy.

I miss you…

According to New York Times, Ivhan was a very hard-working man, he supported his family back in Peru and even when it was his day-off and it was his birthday, he still worked that day, not knowing that it will be his last day. ):

            Last Tuesday was Ivhan Luis Carpio Bautista’s day off at Windows on the World. It was also his birthday. But with an extended family back in Peru depending on his paycheck, Mr. Carpio, 24, did not hesitate when a co-worker called that Monday night asking if he would cover a shift. “He worked all the overtime he could,” said a cousin, Rita Tatiana Palacio. “Too many people needed the money, including a niece whose school he paid for.”

            In the two years since arriving in New York speaking only Spanish, Mr. Carpio had made enviable strides. His English was nearly fluent, he had found the perfect job and last month had moved into his own place, having previously shared an apartment with his cousin in Queens. The day before the attack on the twin towers, he learned that he had been accepted to John Jay College of Criminal Justice. It was a day of triumph, as he had been uncertain whether the school would accept credits from his two-and-a-half years of law school in Peru. “He was so excited, so happy,” Ms. Palacio said. “I remember him saying how he was so lucky, that everything was going to be so good from now on.”

I have no idea how life had been for his family after his death. I am longing to get in touch with them. I am hoping that by writing this tribute, I would be able to let them know I care for the loved ones of the unsung heroes like Ivhan. Upon writing this tribute, I felt relieved. Upon reading his tragic death, I felt consoled. I found another healing balm from the Lord. I was inspired and was touched. I may not fully understand how hard it was for his family to accept his tragic loss, but somehow I can relate; I lost a precious brother.

Life must go on. There’s no time for “crying over spilled milk”. But crying for treasured loved ones who passed away isn’t bad at all, it’s normal. From time to time, they are remembered and their memories would be forever etched in the heart no matter how turbulent the waves may seem to erase the footprints they left.

Every time it rains, I want to cry. I even want to cry under the rain; at least, my tears wouldn’t be too obvious.

Today, I started this tribute while it is raining cats and dogs. I finished it with a clear sky. I felt peace.

~LAF 2011

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1 Comment

Filed under Health & Healing, Life story, Love

One response to “Tribute to An Unsung Hero

  1. Pingback: Celebrating NATIONAL HEROES DAY Today « Living Out Lod(Rose)!

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