Sunday, September 10, 2006

Joseph John Pycior Jr. Aged 39

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was busy doing laundry. We had just arrived home after being away for a week and I was settling in for a day of housework and catching up on things. Hundreds of miles away, Joseph John Pycior was in his office at the Pentagon.

For as long as his parents can remember, Joseph John Pycior Jr. wanted to be in the Navy. As a child, he was involved in the Naval Brigade for young men, wearing tailored winter blues and summer whites and meeting every week. When he was old enough, he joined the Navy Junior ROTC where he met his future wife, Terri, whom he married in 1986. The same month he graduated from high school, Joseph, at 17, joined the Navy and began a career that would take him onto ships, into Desert Storm, around the world and into history books.

I remember thinking as the I watched the broadcast of the WTC after being hit by the first plane. "Oh my God, what a horrible accident" was all I could think. When the second plane hit..... I couldn't comprehend how two accidents like that could happen. "What were the odds?" That was my first thought.

Joseph and Terri had two sons, Joseph III and Robert. Joseph was very involved with in his children's lives. He was a Cub Scout leader for Joey's den and an avid Lego fan. They all loved to fish and go camping. Joseph took great pride in being a good father.

Shortly before the Pentagon tragedy, he and Terri had talked to real estate agents about houses. They were getting ready to settle down after Joseph retired.... which was going to be very soon. They had promised their sons, this would be the last move.

The horror of it. I can't comprehend it. I can't understand it or explain it. I don't want to look at the tv but I can't tear my eyes away. Such chaos and fear. I'm lightheaded from the fear. My adrenaline is pumping and my heart is pounding. Not knowing what to do. Make it stop. Who is doing this? Why? Oh dear God, what is happening? Stay near me, my family. Stay with me, just in case. In case of what....... I don't know... but I need you to be close. I'm frightened.

Joseph's father remembers being relieved when his son was stationed at the Pentagon. "I felt he was in the safest place in the world. The nerve center of the entire armed forces."

Joseph was looking forward to retirement and starting a new career as a middle school teacher, focusing on his favorite subject, history. The Civil War buff had completed his courses at Thomas Edison State College and would be collecting his bachelor of arts degree at a ceremony in Trenton on October 13th, 2001. Instead, his wife and sons accepted the degree for him.




I am glad and honored to have had the opportunity to learn more about Joseph. He was a loving father, husband, brother, son and good friend to many.

As one of his shipmates said.... " Joe had enough room in his heart to make the world better by being the best.....nothing less..... Don't worry, Joe - there are some great folks still standing watch...... Rest easy shipmate."

Rest in peace Joseph.

17 comments:

Gina in N'Awlins said...

Sheri - what a beautiful tribute you've written. You have such a GIFT! Rest in peace, Joe. Blessings to your family.

Kristen said...

I loved that Sheri -- what a heart felt tribute.......thank you.

melodyann said...

Sheri, that was beautiful, just beautiful...

Beth said...

Sheri, you did a fantastic job, but I must have misunderstood the entire assignment. I thought we were not supposed to write about the attacks, the terrorists, or the debris and such. I thought it was supposed to entirelynr about the victims of 9/11 and not our own personal trevails.

I actually am from NY and had family in the area of the Twin Towers, my husband's two brothers, but did not mention it or any of our personal struggles.

After reading yours, I seriously hope I didn't mess up because I really wanted to do my best. You did a great job, but I must have misunderstood completely so hope I did my victim justice when remembering him.

ccw said...

A beautiful tribute!

Thoughts said...

Excellent job!

I wish I could have done it myself.

Thanks for you time and effort.

Thoughts

Sunshine said...

Fantastic job with your tribute. The photo of the coffin draped with our flag makes me cry. So many lovely and honorable Americans who died that day, thank you for your part. I hope my tribute has done enough, but we can never stop missing these lovely people.

Sharpie said...

Sheri - you are beautiful. Inspiring. I am in awe.

lime said...

very nicely done, sheri. thank you for introducing us to joseph. may he rest in peace and may his family find healing and solace.

Stu said...

Joe Pycior could do anything and with a smile to boot. I recruited Joe to Pentagon duty (a fact that at times I feel some guilt about). My goal at the time was to introduce AWs to our enlisted mix. Joe was the proof of concept but within a few months he practically owned the place. Perhaps one could say he took the proof of concept and made it "Pycior's Law". Joe quickly became the "go to" man for everything and I was happy to not only have a capable hand but a true shipmate in every sense of the world.

After the accident, I firmly believed that if there were to be a miracle story of survival it was going to be Joe Pycior. He was just that kind of guy. But instead his mission here on Earth was complete.

Joe, I think of you often (especially at Mass) and will pray for you and your family.

Fly Navy,
Stu

Marie said...

Simply

Beautiful

'nuf said.

Mark Leslie said...

Oh, Sheri, that was written so beautifully, interspersing your own experience with Joe's. Truly touching, a wonderful tribute to a great man.

Rest easy, Joe.

FunkyB said...

Thanks... I mean it. I'm speechless, but those of you who did this ... touching to say the least.

Tara said...

A wonderful tribute. Well done.

My tribute to Saranya Srinuan can be found at http://retardedrugrat.wordpress.com

Heather said...

What a wonderful tribute Sheri! It's so sad to glimpse some of the lives lost that day.

kateandjona said...

Thank you for sharing. It's a beautiful rememberance.

Raggedy said...

Wonderful Tribute!
Thank you.
These are heartbreaking stories and difficult to read....
I am honored to be a part of this project.
Mine is posted also...

Bless you...

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.