September 11, 2001 was moving day for Louis Steven Inghilterra and his family. With renovations to their home in the community of Chappaqua, NY, now complete, Louis left the family’s apartment in Ossining for the last time and headed for his office on the 95th floor of 2 World Trade Center.
Senior vice President and Treasurer of Fiduciary Trust Company, it probably goes without saying that Louis was a man with an eye for detail, not only at work but at home, as well, where he’d taken a hands-on approach to the remodeling.
A lover of carpentry, he built bookshelves and refurbished armoires while scrutinizing final trim work.
But there was much more to Louis Inghilterra than his job or attention to detail.
Certainly his self-made success was a source of great pride. Nevertheless, he spoke to his wife Diane about leaving the corporate world behind to strike out on his own.
A guitar and bass player since his teenage years – whether on stage (he played in nightclubs and at weddings during college) or at home – he loved listening to jazz and classic rock, collected guitars and records and revered Frank Zappa.
He was also a devoted father to his 2-year-old son Sam, who loved to listen to his father read and play music.
His co-workers referred to him as an achiever and teacher who inspired a spirit of excellence at work as well as in his own life and the lives of his family and friends.
I can only presume that he’d left for work with grand thoughts for his future with Diane and Sam in their newly renovated home.
He’d called Diane shortly before 8:46 a.m., to see if the movers had arrived and watched as the first airliner struck One World Trade Center. He’d relayed what had happened, but immediately apologized for telling her. He didn’t want her to be worried. There was a lot of noise in the background, then silence as the phone went out.
Louis Steven Inghilterra’s life ended that day at the age of 45. It is my hope that his story lives on, that his family knows Americans meant what they said eight years ago:
We will never forget.
Remembering Louis has been written for Project 2996, a tribute to the victims of 9/11. Dale Challener Roe initiated the project several years ago, relying on the help of thousands of bloggers to remember the lives of each person killed on that day.
I never met Louis, so I relied on research to learn more about him. BlogMeister and The Reluctant Prophet wrote about Louis in 2006. The New York Times published a short profile on him in 2002. A tribute written by his wife and posted on the website of Fiduciary Trust no longer exists. More recent coverage focuses on the memorial in his hometown of New Castle, which was dedicated in 2008.
Although his name surfaced hundreds of times, I didn’t uncover anything necessarily new – only his name on countless memorials. I wish I could have learned more. At the end of the day, it occurs to me that I do, in fact, now have a sense of who he must have been – and could have been – had his life not been taken on that dark day in American history. I will remember you, Louis, and your family this Friday, Sept. 11, 2009, and suspect I always will.
Please visit Project 2996 for more tributes.