"2996 Tribute" ~ Remembering Patrice Braut ~
I am the 1507th blogger participating in the “2996 Tribute Project”. Thousands of bloggers are individually honoring one of the 2996 people who died on September 11, 2001.
I am only a single voice; a single life.
And so was Patrice Braut, a young man from Brussels, Belgium. He was a man who had dreams. One of his dreams was to come and work in America.
I do not know if any of the other contributors to this project had met their “assignment” or not. I had never met Patrice Braut while he was living.
In looking for information about this young man, I was struck by the silence.
There is no longer a continuation of history of this man’s life.
The forward movement of time has stopped for Patrice Braut; the clock is no longer moving, and there is nothing tangible left of his life here on earth.
He no longer stands in the sun and his shadow has disappeared.
Patrice was his parents’ only child. He was a child that was held even more precious than most; because he was the only baby who survived out of his mother’s four pregnancies.
His mother, Paola, has cried for four dead children now.
Patrice Braut worked for the Marsh & McLennan Companies. He was one of 295 people that were employed by the company who died on September 11, 2006. The company occupied the 93rd through the 100th floors in the WTC 1 building. Patrice was on the 97th floor.
Marsh & McLennan Companies have placed a memorial at their new offices for their colleagues who died. They also have put a scholarship fund in place at Patrice’s childhood school in Belgium, Lycee Theodore Bracops. The scholarship is to be awarded for the most tenacious student.
Patrice has been described as being a leader as well as a fun loving and caring person. There are but a few comments left on 9.11 memorial sites in memory of Patrice Braut. Could it be because many of his friends and colleagues all died with him?
However from what evidence that there is of Patrice Braut’s life, one gets the sense that this young man was more than just a good person. He was not only a caring individual, but he also encouraged those he was around. Patrice is described as being “joyously tenacious”. He also had a girlfriend named Lupe. They had started looking for a place for the two of them to move into the week-end before he was killed.
Patrice was attending Pace University and was working on his MBA when he was killed.
It is evident that he was an achiever. A person who had yet to fully leave his legacy with the world; he had yet to cast his shadow upon his accomplishments.
The attack on September 11, 2001, not only murdered Americans, but many other peoples from numerous other countries. However, Patrice Braut was the only person killed who was from Belgium.
In response to the attack on New York City, the country of Belgium was there for the United States with an immediate response as well as tangible aid. Of the many offers of blood donations, money, emergency teams, as well as an expert to help identify the remains of the victims; the country of Belgium also collected and sent $12,000 for the Engine 8 Ladder 2 Association in New York. Additionally, the Royal Belgian Fire Fighters Relief Fund collected 25,000 euros from around the country for the New York 9/11 Disaster Relief Fund.
These acts lead one to believe that there is a commonality among man; an understanding of loss and of death.
I did not need to personally know Patrice Braut for he was a son of a loving mother; that is a commonality that I share with her.
On Monday, September 11, 2006, Patrice Braut’s parents again feel the painful wounds that were left by his death.
They won’t be able to see the son that they loved so dearly.
They won’t be able to hold him.
They will never hear his voice call their names.
Their chests won’t swell with pride at his accomplishments.
For they’ll never see him stand in the sun again…
Patrice Braut’s shadow is no more.
Light a Candle in September