This post is part of 2,996: A Tribute to the Victims of 9-11
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On September 11th, 2001 2,996 people going about their lives were murdered by Islamic terrorists. One of those lost was Vincent Laieta. He was a good man who surely did not deserve his fate. His cousin James Laieta wrote a tribute to Vincent that conveys his spirit and character:

We never got the chance to say goodbye. You were our inspiration. We grew up as brothers. Your patient, loving, and golden heart stays forever in our memories. I was your sponsor for Confirmation; but you were my rock to lean on. Having you on this earth was a slice of heaven. You listened with your heart. Vinny’s eyes were the windows to his soul. You were our hero in so many ways. We miss you more than words can express. Is it too late to say how you made our life so special in your quiet way?
My life with all its twists and turns; I made mistakes you always knew that I would learn. You were the light inside of us. God, this hurts. Send us: Your loving patience in dealing with the family, your understanding heart when counseling those you loved, and most of all your gentle spirit when solving life’s problems. Take care my golden friend. Until we meet again — I will cherish the times we spent together. May the Lord Bless and keep you. Our family will never be the same again. Happy one year anniversary.
Forever In Our Hearts, James P. Laieta, Jr.

The Staten Island Advance published a memorial to Vincent Laieta. It tells us more about the good man stolen from this world:

Vincent Laieta, 31, Aon Corp. vice president of operations

At 8:52 a.m. on Sept. 11, moments after the first plane hit 1 World Trade Center, Vincent Laieta paged his friend to let him know he was leaving Tower 2, where he worked on the 100th floor as vice president of operations for Aon Corp. That was the last confirmed contact anyone had with the 31-year-old Mr. Laieta, who is among the missing in the terrorist attacks.

His wife, the former Carol Murphy, tried frantically to reach him by calling his pager. She saw the events unfold on television and recalled, “I couldn’t believe it, it was like watching a bad movie.”

Since it was early in the morning, only a handful of Aon Corp. employees had arrived for work. According to witnesses, four of the co-workers Mr. Laieta was with escaped safely. Though some people in his department took elevators, he opted to take the stairs.

Born in Dongan Hills, Mr. Laieta moved to an apartment in New Dorp following his marriage in 1995. In 1996, the couple settled in Edison, N.J.

He graduated from Monsignor Farrell High School in 1988, and earned his bachelor of science degree in accounting from St. John’s University, Grymes Hill. He was proud of the fact that he passed the CPA exam in August.

Mr. Laieta was active in Staten Island Little League, both as a player in his younger years and more recently as a coach. But he was more than a baseball fan, said his wife, who noted that her husband enjoyed all sports and particularly liked golf.

Mr. Laieta enjoyed vacationing in Ocean City, Md., where his family owned a condominium, and he liked going to the beach.

He was a parishioner of St. Francis of Assisi R.C. Cathedral, Metuchen, N.J. In addition to his wife, Carol, surviving are his 13-month-old son, Kevin Vincent; his parents, Vincent and Josephine; a brother, Anthony, and his grandmother, Anna Seery.

As I learned more about Vincent, I got sadder and madder. Vincent won’t be able to coach his son Kevin in Little League. He won’t be able to take Kevin to his first Big Leauge game. His wife Carol has had the man of her life stolen away. His friends, family and work mates are missing his smile, the twinkle in his eyes, and his essential goodness. To what end? Vincent’s precious life was snuffed out in an act of unimaginable evil.

Never forget Vincent and everyone else who lost their lives on 9/11. Never forgive their murderers. And remember with all your heart that the people who murdered Vincent have sworn to kill us all.

p.s. I wanted to participate in the tribute to the 9/11 victims, and I was given the name of Vincent Laieta. My wife and I were overwhelmed to read about Vinny. The two tributes we found brought us to tears. The world has lost a good man, and we felt rage and sorrow for his family and friends. If any of Vinny’s family or friends read this, we would be grateful to hear from you. Both of us are moved to write to you but could not locate any street or e-mail addresses. Email pat at