SOUTHPORT, NC (WECT) – Sunday, our nation will pause to remember the events that happened on September 11, 2001 – the day over 3,000 people lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on our country.
There are many 9/11 observances planned, but of course, the largest will take place at Ground Zero, in New York. For one Brunswick County family, they will remember the son they lost that day, and honor him, just like they do every day of the year.
Like over 3,000 other people, Richard Stewart did not know that September 11, 2001 would be his last day alive.
Richard worked as an investment banker for Cantor Fitzgerald. His office was on the 104th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
Every morning, every lunch time and every evening, Richard called and talked to his parents, Richard and Joan Stewart. But September 11 was different.
“About 9:10, the phone rang and Dick answered it and talked to him,” said Joan Stewart. “He said he did not know what was happening, for us to cut the television on, something had happened there. He said, ‘what do you mean?’ He said, ‘I don’t know, but the room is filling up with smoke.’ And so we turned on the television. The first plane had already gone in. Then the second plane hit after we turned on the television. We saw the second plane go in and he told Dick they were wanting to get everybody out so he had to leave, but said tell Mom I love her. That was the last we heard.”
It was several years after 9/11 that they received the news that some of Richard’s remains had been found. They were partially spread in the Pacific Ocean around Maui, the other part placed in a cemetery near the Stewart’s Brunswick County Home.
Dick Stewart says there will never be closure, but Joan Stewart knows what has helped her thru the years.
“God gave me two lives, he gave me one with Richie and one without him,” said Stewart. “You do get thru it, because I have my faith, I know I will see Rich again, I know we will see each other again.”
For each of the anniversaries of 9/11, the Stewarts have attended a special service at Ground Zero. They will be there again this weekend, there to honor their son, Richard Hansell Stewart, Junior, and knowing that one day, they will be reunited with him once again.