2,996 -- In Memory of Christopher N. Ingrassia
2,996 is a tribute to the victims of 9/11. On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11. Each person will pay tribute to a single victim. We will honor them by remembering their lives,and not by remembering their murderers.
I will honor Christopher N. Ingrassia.
I grew up with Chris, our families were/are friends. As I try to write about him, I'm not sure where to begin. Let's just start with the fact that everyone had a crush on Chris. It was hard not to. He was one good looking guy with one of the best smiles around. It was contagious. But, it wasn't only his looks that made him so special, but more his personality. He was the popular kid at school who was nice to everyone, not just his friends. He knew how to make people feel special. This quality seemed to only improve with age. His mother told me a story about when Chris was out to a business dinner with the partners in his company and some clients at a swanky restaurant in Chicago. During the meal, Chris noticed a couple having a fight and the guy leaving without the girl. Chris excused himself from his dinner, borrowed the matre'd's top hat and asked the girl to dance. This is only one of many stories.
I remember that my mother knew how much I had a crush on Chris and made sure to invite him to my sweet sixteen birthday party. I was so excited to see him there. And, I remember walking across an empty dance floor on my way to say hello to some of my friends when Chris grabbed me and started to dance (it was a slow song). I couldn't believe my luck. I don't think you could wipe that smile from my face for weeks. Like I said, he really knew how to make people feel special. He even agreed to go to my junior prom with me.
Chris worked for Cantor Fitzgerald after graduating from Princeton University. He worked in England for a few of years before returning to work at their office in the WTC. Chris had earned a partnership by the age of 28. He was an up and coming star!
Chris came from a big family. He has two brothers and a sister who survive him as well as his parents. He was also an uncle. Chris loved his family and stayed very close even when he moved to England. He couldn't wait to return to the US to be with his family.
Chris' family donated a shrine in their church in memory of Chris and the other victims of 9/11. In addition, they started a fund in Chris' name to help students attending summer programs at Princeton University.
I wish I could do more in honoring Chris. I just don't have the words to express how much Chris is missed by his family and friends (and even acquaintances). While I feel deep regret in such a tragic loss, I feel blessed to have had Chris in my life, even if it was for too short a time.