Sea Girt, New Jersey. As the name would imply, Sea Girt is nestled along the Atlantic shore. In spite of being only one square mile in size, it is still home to both the State Police Academy and a National Guard camp. The rest of this tiny municipality is fully developed, home to several good restaurants, a landmark lighthouse and comfortable homes. A great place to which to retire.
When he was 61 years old, Charles William Mathers lived in Sea Girt. Was he already retired, living in his dream home, hosting his kids and grandkids for weekend beach parties or trips to the annual Irish Festival? Or did he purchase a house in Sea Girt in anticipation of retirement, making the trek into New York each day as he counted down his days to freedom?
September 11, 2001 dawned bright and clear. Gone was the scorching August heat, replaced by the gentler sun of September, holding the promise of the autumn to come. Charles was up early, readying himself for the sixty-five mile trek into New York City, to the World Trade Center. Whether he was making the trip for business or for pleasure, he needed to make an early start.
Charles William Mathers never returned from New York, never got the chance to enjoy retirement. His life was taken in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
Charles will always be remembered as a victim of that terrible tragedy. More than that, he should be remembered for his place as one of this country's most valuable resources: her people. Day by day Charles went about his life - laughing, working, enjoying time with family and friends, doing his part to contribute to society. Until 9/11/01 the rest of the country did not know his name, but he played an important role in the lives of those who knew him personally. In them, his spirit lives on.
We will not forget him.