As we take this moment to reflect on the horrific 9/11 tragedies that plagued our country 11 years ago, I felt today was the perfect time to share such a romantic but sad story of a love affair I discovered by visiting the 9/11 Memorial this past spring.
Like myself, I’m sure many of you have heard heart-warming stories of people who found out there loved ones were actually alive and well days after being buried under what was left of the New York Twin Tower Buildings. But it wasn’t until I had the opportunity to visit the September 11 Memorial and Museum this past April that I discovered the tear-jerking story of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gschaar. Unfortunately, Mrs. Gschaar was not like one of those family members who had discovered their loved ones alive and well days after the New York World Trade Center was destroyed by terrorist. Years after her husband disappeared in the south tower, she would get the confirmation she didn’t want, that her husband would truly never come back to her.
The proof was in the $2 Bill.
As reported on NYTimes.com:
It was the $2 bill that told Myrta Gschaar what she did not really want to know with such certainty: that her husband had been killed at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
Long after the attack, Mrs. Gschaar had no tangible evidence. Her husband, Robert J. Gschaar, worked at the Aon insurance company. He called her that Tuesday morning to say that there had been an accident in the north tower. He was safe in the south tower, he reassured her, and would call again once he reached the street. No second call ever came. He simply vanished.
Three or four years passed before a special property recovery unit of the Police Department let her know it had some items she might want. Among them was a wallet. One of the items inside was a $2 Federal Reserve note, serial No. E52521814A.
“The definitive proof that it was her husband was the discovery of the $2 bill,” said Jan Seidler Ramirez, the chief curator of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center.
Before the couple married in 1989, Robert gave Myrta a $2 bill and kept one for himself. They symbolized many things: that this would be the second marriage for both of them, that they were two of a kind, that it would be a second chance for happiness. Receipt of the $2 bill from the police was “what she needed to accept his death,” Ms. Ramirez said.
She donated her husband’s wedding ring, also recovered by the police. Ms. Ramirez recalled her saying: “I don’t need it anymore. I’m eternally wed to him. I want it to be with the $2 bill.”
It’s amazing how the one thing that bonded the Gschaar’s union confirmed that it was eternally torn apart, at least physically anyway. I’m sure there’s not a day that goes by where Mrs. Gschaar doesn’t remember her husband and the loving bond they shared. I pray that like her, other families of this tragic event were able to move on after receiving the confirmation they needed that their loved ones were now looking down on them through heavenly windows patiently waiting for their reunion at their eternal home!