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Monday, September 11, 2006

Joseph A. Lenihan

How do you honor someone you know so little about? How do you get past a few words in a newspaper to pay tribute to a man who was so much more than what he will always be known for- being one of the 2,996. Many people have found a wealth of information about their 2,996 person, but there's just not all that much out there about Joe. But I will do the best I can.

Joseph A. Lenihan was an executive vice president for Keefe, Bruyette and Woods, Inc., and was in the World Trade Center South Tower on the morning of Sept 11, 2001.

That's what many of the sites say about Joe. Some may mention that he was married, or that he had three children. Still doesn't tell you much, does it? He and his family lived in Cos Cob, Connecticut. He was well-respected in the financial community. He was honored by Irish American Magazine as one of their "Wall Street 50" just before his death. He was a member of the Veterans Appreciation Council and St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Riverside, Connecticut.

What struck me as I read about Joe was his sense of humor. So many people mentioned his humor in the comments and tributes they left. His brother mentioned it. So did his cousin. He loved cracking jokes. He enjoyed doing impersonations of people that he met. He was full of life.

Like I said, he was married. Joe and Ingrid had been married 13 years. One of his friends joked that they were often late for the train back to Greenwich because Joe had stopped to buy flowers for his wife. That tells me something about him, you know? He had 2 daughters and a son. His girls are 15 and 13 now, a rough time to be without a father. His son, Joseph, was a year old when the Towers fell. He never really got a chance to know his dad.

The more I think about Joe, the more I think that his name is perfect. He was a Regular Joe. He lived a good life, had a good family, worked hard, and kept a sense of humor about him. That's about all any of us Regular Joes and Josephines can hope for.

The only difference is that his family has to live without their Regular Joe.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Lenihan family and the rest of the 2,996 families today.

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