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Saturday, September 11, 2010

2,973 Souls and One Mission


He bent over to kiss his sleeping 2-year-old son. He patted the belly of his pregnant wife, and told her again that he loved her. Then Kevin Hannaford melted into the predawn darkness. That was the routine — reassuring, expectant — in one house in Basking Ridge, N.J.

Some three hours later, Eileen Hannaford was standing in the shadow of the World Trade Center's north tower, where her husband worked as a commodities broker for Cantor Fitzgerald, 105 stories above. The first plane had hit, she and other commuters had been evacuated from the PATH station below, and now she was frantically trying to reach him on her cellphone. Finally, she decided it was best to go to her office across town.

"If Kevin had been looking for me, which he would have done, he would have gone directly to my office," she reasoned.

Kevin James Hannaford was 32, young enough to enjoy playing soccer, mature enough to be an attentive husband and father. In the delivery room after the birth of Patrick two years earlier, he had thanked her for her friendship, and for their son.

On Jan. 9, four months after her husband died, she gave birth to their second son. He is healthy, wonderful, and his name, of course, is Kevin James Hannaford.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on January 22, 2002.


Kevin James Hannaford simply couldn't wait to try and impart his zest for life on his son, Patrick James. 

Always the first guy on the slopes in the morning, Mr. Hannaford bought the boy his first pair of skis when he was just 18 months old. 

Friends and family say it was typical of a father who relished nothing more than watching his Patrick, now 2, take his first steps or first awkward slide down a snowy hill. 

On the morning of Sept. 11, Mr. Hannaford woke before dawn to leave for his job as a commodities broker for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 105th floor of the World Trade Center. His wife, Eileen, who is expecting the couple's second child in January, said she usually simply rolled over in the dark, but that morning got up to hug him good-bye. 

"We hugged each other and told each other how much we loved each other, he touched the baby and said 'I love you, baby,'" she said. "I'm so grateful I got up and hugged him." 

The 32-year-old Mr. Hannaford has not been seen since. 

Born in Brooklyn, Mr. Hannaford lived in Walnut Creek, Calif., before his family returned to the East Coast and settled in Basking Ridge. 

Eileenandboys He and Eileen, acquaintances at Marist College, began dating while they both lived in Hoboken in the early '90s. They married on April 4, 1997, and moved to Basking Ridge two years later. 

Mr. Hannaford carried a love of sports throughout his life, from his days on Basking Ridge's undefeated state Group 2 championship soccer team, to summers working as a lifeguard on Long Beach Island, to his weekly games with the Montvale Men's Soccer League. 

The Rev. Michael Ward met Mr. Hannaford while living in Hoboken. Ward was working as an administrative assistant for Merril Lynch but was contemplating entering the seminary. 

"He thought it was cool," said Ward, who now ministers at St. Cecilia's Church in Kearny. "He was very supportive." 

Ward added Mr. Hannaford "truly loved life and he always put family first." 

Mr. Hannaford also is survived by his parents, James and Nancy Hannaford of Basking Ridge; his sister, Elizabeth Saraceno, and his brother, Patrick Hannaford of Morristown. 

Profile by Brian Donohue published in THE STAR-LEDGER.

* * * * *



A Tribute from cantor families:

Kevin James Hannaford

Date of Birth: October 8, 1968
Department: Tradespark
Position: Commodities Broker

Kevin James Hannaford, 32, of the Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township, died in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. He was employed as a commodities broker for TradeSpark, a division of Cantor Fitzgerald. His office was located on the 105th floor of the tower.

Kevin moved to Basking Ridge with his family when he was 8 years old. He was an avid swimmer and soccer player for the Somerset Hills YMCA, as well as a triathlon contender. He was also on the undefeated State II championship soccer team. His swimming experiences afforded him the opportunity to be a lifeguard at Long Beach Island. He continued his soccer enthusiasm up to the September 11th disaster as a member of the Montville Men's Soccer League.

He thoroughly enjoyed skiing and bought our son, Patrick, his first pair of skis at 18 months old.

Kevin's greatest passion and pride was his family. In the words of many of his friends, Kevin was seen, standing back and watching, smiling with pride at the many accomplishments of our son, Patrick.

Kevin moved to Hoboken in 1990 and lived there for several years. It was there that Kevin and I rekindled an earlier relationship we had in our college years. We were married on April 4th, 1997 and later moved to Basking Ridge in March of 1999. Later on that year we had our first child. Patrick James was born on May 12th, 1999. Patrick will be joined by a brother or sister in January of next year, 2002.

In the words of his mother, Nancy, "He was a very good friend and he had many good friends. Everyone will dearly miss him."

In addition to myself (his wife Eileen) and son, Patrick, Kevin is survived by his brother, Patrick Hannaford; his sister, Beth and her husband Bob Saraceno and their son, Evan; his mother and father, Nancy and James Hannaford; my parents Mary and Patrick McGinley and my brother, Patrick McGinley.

Kevin was special and God called him. In his short time on earth, he left us fullfilled and enriched. He will make a special place for us all in the future.

A dear friend is putting together memory books for Patrick and his-soon-to-be brother or sister, so that they have many memories of their daddy, Kevin. Please send them a note containing stories, thoughts or memories about Kevin.

Contributions may be made to the Hannaford Bereavement Fund, c/o Soloman Smith Barney Co., Attn: Michael Betzag, 767 Fifth Ave. 7th floor, New York, NY 10153.

* * * * *

These are just a few of the tributes to Kevin.  I never knew Kevin.  But, I have come to know his beautiful wife, Eileen, and their 2 sons Patrick and Kevin, Jr.  Shortly after the attacks on 9/11 I received a Mercy Band from my brother, Mike, and inscribed on the band was one name - Kevin James Hannaford and under his name was simply WTC.  I wanted to know more about this soul who lost his life on that day and whose name I would wear on my wrist and so I did some research and that is how I located his wife and family.  I wanted her to know that I wore the name of her husband on my wrist and would remember Kevin.  She was so happy that I had reached out to her.  We got to know each other a bit during the months leading up to the birth of her 2nd son - Kevin James Hannaford, Jr.  born on January 9, 2002.  Eileen was 5 months pregnant with their 2nd child when the attacks happened.  

Eileenandboys2 Eileen is a remarkable woman and mother.  She has taken the events of that day and the loss of her husband and created something as remarkable as she - the

Kevin James Hannaford Sr. Foundation

.  Eileen writes:

"Kevin, in his short time on earth, left us fulfilled and enriched. The outpouring of love and support from family, friends and strangers following Kevin's death on September 11, 2001 was amazing. Patrick, Kevin Jr. and I want to give back some of what has been and continues to be given to us in our time of need. It is with these thoughts that we have formed the Kevin J. Hannaford, Sr. Foundation, Inc. The Foundation contributes to the educational and enrichment needs of children who suffer the loss of a parent to death. With the help and support of so many, Kevin will live on in our hearts and through our gifts to these children. Together, we can take a tragic event and create something everlasting in his name. We hope you will join us in supporting our mission as we keep Kevin's memory alive through our love and support - one child at a time."

I had the pleasure to meet Eileen at the hospital in New Jersey the day after the birth of her son Kevin James Hannaford, Jr.  I came bearing gifts, comfort, and love.  I offered the bracelet to Eileen but she said "No - Susan, I want you to keep it and remember Kevin."  And so I have.  I have kept the bracelet that bears the name of her husband, wearing it every year on September 11th in memory of the 2,973 souls who lost their lives and the families who lost a loved one, and to remember Kevin, Eileen, and their 2 boys. Yesterday, however, my daughter, Sarah, wore the bracelet to her high school.  All the students were requested to wear black in memory of the victims of 9/11.  When I pulled out the white box and opened it, I saw the somewhat tarnished bracelet nestled atop a bed of cotton together with an aged 4-leaf clover wrapped in cellophane and I thought of Kevin. And I thought of Eileen and their 2 sons.

So today, I want to remember Kevin by asking all of you to please make a donation, no matter how small, to the Kevin James Hannaford, Sr. Foundation and make a difference in the life of a child who has lost a parent to death.  You can help a child.  You can make a difference. What better way to respect the families of 9/11?  Please contribute so that the memories of our loved ones, friends, and acquaintances are never forgotten.


A wonderful book and tribute to those who lost their lives on 9/11.  Personal stories and more, you will to back to this book time and time again and make a connection to every soul.  Just click on the image of the book cover above.



Connect with the Kevin James Hannaford Foundation on Facebook!



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