EMILIO "PETE" ORTIZ - 2,996 on 9/11
The Clearing Department, according to Calyon VP Barry Neumann, is a final step in any trade that the company handles. Once the trade has been executed, the Clearing people check the numbers and accounting, updating information on the client and doing final number crunching. Mr. Ortiz oversaw that department, making sure the job was done right and accurately.
Pete was more than a supervisor, however. At 38, he was the new father of twin girls Amanda and Emily. According to his wife Wanda Ortiz, "I've never seen such a proud man," in regard to his daughters. "The attacks happened three days shy of their first six months. We tried for a year to have a child. When we finally had one, God blessed us with two. It makes me angry that he only had five months with his children."
Just how proud he was of the girls can be sensed from this memorial by LoriAnn Strocchia on the CNN memorials page:
Pete, my friend Anthony and I used to talk now and then on the "R" train. He showed us a picture of his new baby twins. I am deeply saddened by his loss. May God Bless his soul and may God bless his wife and daughters.According to his mother-in-law María Rodríguez, Mr Ortiz said that he'd been praying for a daughter when he learned that his wife was pregnant. "He asked for one and God gave him two." She said he carried his daughters one at a time for fear he might drop one.
The kind of man Mr Ortiz was can be sensed in a few anecdotes that are told about him:
Víctor Manuel Ramos from Newsday tells this story: Emilio Ortiz's mother-in-law had bought a step-climbing machine to shed some pounds, and she was frustrated because it wouldn't help her sweat.Mr. Ortiz grew up in New York, in the Williamsburg and South Side sections of Brooklyn. He got his first job, more than 10 years ago, at the World Trade Center at Klein and Co., a family-owned medical insurance firm that eventually closed. There he learned the day-to-day work of the company's accounting office, positioning himself for the job he held at Carr. however, at nights, DJ Pete was mixing tunes for the dancers at Teddy's which gave him a chance to enjoy his passion for music.
Ortiz, 38, jumped on it to show her how it was done, and when she was not looking, he sprayed his face, chest and back with water to create a fake sweat.
She got on the machine again and again, and he repeated the joke, pretending he hyperventilated because of the strong workout. When she realized what was happening, it was too late, because she was already sweating from the extra effort he had coaxed from her.
At Emilio Ortiz's wedding reception three years ago, his best man, Daniel Lopez, gave an emotional toast that caused people to get weepy. Suddenly, he turned to the bride, reached into his tuxedo jacket, pulled out a ring box and handed to her. Everyone in the room grew quiet, wondering what it was.
"It was a Viagra pill," the blushing bride, Wanda Ortiz, recalled, laughing. "Those two together were so silly. They were always playing jokes on each other."
Emilio was supposed to draw the curtain after every shower, according to his wife. One time, he forgot and she reminded him by asking, "What's wrong with this picture?" Instead of closing the shower curtain, he adjusted a picture on the wall and said: "It was a little crooked."
Emilio met his wife while working as a DJ, and when he popped the question it was in the form of another prank. on Valentine's Day 1995, Mr. Ortiz gave a speech in front of friends and relatives, then handed Wanda a box containing a fake diamond ring. But Wanda thought the ring was beautiful and said "yes." Thankfully, Mr Ortiz was prepared: he pulled out the real thing, a ring with a marquise stone that she had wanted.
Over at 9/11 Heroes, among the tributes is this from Mr Ortiz' sister:
Pete was the best Brother, Father, Son, Friend, Uncle, Husband. I can go on and on about him. I have good and Funny things to remember him. Pete loved us very much.When we were kids him and i would play Batman & Robin. He had a little blue truck and that was the batmobile and the funny thing was that i had to push him around the house. We would go into the closet take out the pillows and use them as the bad guys. WE were punching pillows left and right. I could hear my mom telling us not to make a mess. He was always kissing and hugging me. Telling me how much he loves me.He means everything to me. There is not a day that i don't think of him.Wishing that i would bump into him and that 9/11 was just a Bad nightmare.Linda Long, a neighbor in the Corona district of Queens, New York, wrote this at the American Memorials tribute page:
The twins are big and beautiful. They were only 3 days before turning 6 months old when you went missing. Cheated out of knowing thier DAD. Wanda is a great mom she loves and misses you.
Pete will be greatly missed by all who knew him.Mr Ortiz, who I do not know well enough to refer by either his given name or the name his friends and family knew him by "Pete" is one man who worked hard, loved his family, loved life, a man loved by his family and the people who knew him, a man struck down by hate and evil. This is one of almost three thousand stories that are being told by blogs across this land and beyond. Remember Emilio Ortiz, remember his wife, his family, his tiny daughters.
There is a part in the movie Saving Private Ryan in which General George C. Marshall pulls out a very old letter addressed to a Mrs. Bixby in Boston. The text of the letter he reads out loud:
"Dear Madam: I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.I can say it no better, and I can offer no greater comfort to the family of this man for their terrible loss.
I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Yours very sincerely and respectfully, Abraham Lincoln."
Remember their loss and never, ever forget what we're fighting and why. Every time you stand in line at the airport for extra security, remember the price that was paid, and consider your personal sacrifice to be your contribution to the effort. When you read of terrorists being captured or their plots foiled, celebrate a success in the war against an enemy that wants to continue to murder men like Emilio Ortiz and people like you.
We're in this together. Every time you think of the war on terror, the security we have, the times we live in, remember Mr. Ortiz and his family.
This is part of the 2,996 on 9/11 Project to memorialize and pay tribute to the men and women murdered on that awful day. There are thousand of more tributes like this available to read across the blogosphere.