A couple of months ago I profiled the story of Andrea Haberman who was murdered on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center. Her father, Gordon, could have given into bitterness but, like America, Gordon showed his inner greatness after September 11.
He is honoring, in a very practical and compassionate way, our nation’s fighting men and women as we approach Veteran’s Day.
Andrea was murdered, by Islamic extremists, during her first business trip to New York City. For Gordon there is no such thing as closure but only the new normal. His family is changed, and nowadays changing for the better. His youngest daughter married and has a beautiful child.
His granddaughter is the light of his eye. Gordon and his wife also have their adopted family in New York City; people such as police officers, construction workers, and military members that tried to find their daughter or later tried to find those who did this to her. With one of his extended family, Gordon channels his professional energy into a most worthy cause for members of the military.
Gordon and former Superintendant at Bovis Lend Lease Construction, Charlie Vitchers, who was partially in charge of deconstruction of the World Trade Center site and came to know Gordon in early 2002, have teamed up and founded H.O.N.O.R.S., Housing Our Nation’s Outstanding Returning Soldiers, a 501c3 non profit organization to house wounded veterans. http://honorshousingvets.org/
HONORS mission is to provide hosuing solutions, including adaptive housing, for disabled Veterans; a capability served by Charlie Vitchers’ construction experience. HONORS provides home renovations, new construction, and additions such as ramps allowing home wheelchair access.
Recently, HONORS selected their first home recipient, Army Cavalry Scout Corey Garmon, and have pledged to build a home for Corey, his wife Megan, and their first child. Corey was injured by an IED in Afghanistan and requires a specially built home. There are more like Corey who are heroes in our current conflict who will need assistance in the years ahead.
Gordon and Charlie, and the Veterans they are helping, are reminders of the American spirit that is not so ordinary but rather is in abundance in this great and beautiful land.
Andrea Haberman, and those who followed her in the War on Terrorism, did not die in vain on and after September 11, 2001.
America is still a nation worth defending and dying for because of the goodness and decency of her people. Gordon, her family, Charlie Vitchers, and Corey Garmon are living testaments to that fact and their efforts are a proper way to honor our living heroes as we approach Veteran’s Day.