Monday, September 11, 2006


Gerard Jean Baptiste Remembered

2,996 is a tribute to the victims of September 11, 2001. Thanks to D.C. Roe for putting together this coalition of bloggers (over 3,000 of them) to each honor a victim. To see the list of bloggers and read other tributes go here.

I am remembering Gerard Jean Baptiste, a member of the New York Fire Department. Gerard was born in Santo domingo de Guzman on March 11, 1966. On his 5th birthday he flew from his native Santo Domingo to the United States. His mother recalls him saying, "Now we're in America," as soon as the plane reached cruising altitude.

Gerard worked as a lifeguard at a New York public pool and tried graphic arts and computers before finding his niche in the army. He was a First lieutenant in the 1-69 Infantry of the New York Army National Guard and was working toward becoming an officer in the fire department.

Gerard's friends remember him as a great leader, a ladies man, and always looking for fun and adventure. He loved New York City; he thought that it was the most beautiful city in the world. Gerard's other great love was dogs. He always had dog biscuits in his pockets for the pets that walked past Ladder 9 in SoHo. The dog biscuits also made it easy to strike up conversations with the children - and women - that the dogs brought with them.

Gerard Jean Baptiste was laid to rest with a funeral at St. Patrick's Cathedral on September 7, 2005. His father said, "It makes us very proud for his being what in life he loved to be; An American, a Public Servant, A Soldier, A Firefighter."

Thank you Gerard for your service and your sacrifice.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let Your Perpetual Light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in peace. Amen.

To view a guestbook for Gerard, go here.

Here is a comment from his sister-in-law:

I met gerard when I first started dating his brother, who is now my husband, about twenty years ago. He had an eye for women and nice clothes. He was always very quiet but when he smiled his face would light up a room. He loved all his nephews very much and though he was always very proper he became a kid when he was with them trying to please them with what ever they wanted. My fondest memories of you Gerard was when you played with my boys.
Gerard I know that a piece of you is still with us through the niece you never met. She was born exactly six months after the tragedy (on 03/11/02) and she shares your same birthday I know that there is some of you in her. I pray that your spirit has risen along with all those that tragically lost their lives as well on that day. Give us the courage and the wisdom to do right by you and give us peace. For a year later we are still struggling with your loss. September 11, 2001 changed my life, a nephew was born and brother in-law was lost. I will make sure that your niece and nephews will always know you loved them. May you rest in piece.....Miosotis

The Documents in the Case:
"Gerard Jean Baptiste was laid to rest with a funeral at St. Patrick's Cathedral on September 7, 2005."

I think that must be a typo.
Actually, it's not. I thought the same thing when I first found the comments, but check out the 3rd one. It clearly states that the funeral was after 4 years - and it was covered by the local television station.

September 11 victims

Mrs. Patricia Jacobs Timmons

Commenter Email and IP address is in file
08/31/2005 4:03:00 AM

I'm not a family member, but am passing along that Firefighter Gerard Baptiste #782 Ladder 9, will be honored at a Funeral Mass at St. Patricks Cathedral on Wednesday, September 7, at 10:00 AM. This is arranged by his father, Gerard Jean Baptiste. Godspeed.
Vanessa Tirado

Commenter Email and IP address is in file
09/07/2005 6:01:38 PM

I just wanted to say goodbye to a brave man. I learned of your funeral today and I am happy that your family is now at peace knowing that you are found. God bless you and may you rest in peace in Gods kind hands.

Commenter Email and IP address is in file
09/07/2005 10:41:31 PM

Just saw on the news that you were finally laid to rest today. R.I.P. After 4 years. Wow!! You are a handsome man & the picture of you on the news, was a picture of you smiling. Thank you for saving other people's lives.
Gerard Jean Baptiste

Commenter Email and IP address is in file
09/18/2005 2:19:09 PM

l WANT TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY to tell you, we are thankful to all of you family and friends, the FDNY, the 69th Regiment Infantry, the Archdiocese of New York, the Mayor, for the grand representation at this funeral for my son Gerard Baptiste.
May he rest in peace. Amen.
Thank you for remembering ... and sharing.

Jonathon's Closet remembers Robert Levine.
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