Daily Wisdom

September 09, 2006

In Memorium: Neil G. Shastri


The morning of September 11, 2001 dawned a bright and sunny day in the New York area. The sky was a clear, beautiful deep blue and absolutely cloudless. The temperatures were mild and seasonable. Humidity was low. It looked like it was going to be a great day, until... "out of the blue" at 8:46:26 AM, American Airlines Flight 11 impacted the north side of 1 World Trade Center between the 94th and 98th floors at a speed of 490 miles per hour.

Neil G. Shastri was a Technology Consultant employed by Scient/IXL, consulting to Cantor Fitzgerald on the 103rd floor of 1 World Trade Center. He was last heard from at approximately 9:00 am, when he placed a phone call to his wife soon after the plane hit, complaining of smoke and difficulty breathing.

Neil was South Asian by ancestry. He was born on August 17, 1976 in Pittsburgh, PA, and raised in Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ. He was a graduate of Rutgers University. At the time of the disaster, he was residing in New York City. His obituary reads in part as follows...

SHASTRI, Neil Gautam, 25, ...Devoted husband to Kruti Shastri (Naik), beloved son of Gautam and Kiran Shastri. Loving brother of Umang, Jay, Shefali, and Amish. Cherished son-in-law of Jitendra and Nila Naik.

According to his family and friends, he had a "generous spirit", a "passion for learning", and a "tremendous capacity to love". Although he was young, he had already made philanthropic endeavors "predomitantly directed towards children's and homeless charities".

To honor the memory of Neil's generosity and passion for learning, a foundation has been created in his name. The Neil G. Shastri Foundation was established by family and friends to continue Neil's legacy by engaging in various philanthropic endeavors that reflect his spirit and passion. "To this end, the Foundation sponsors an annual academic scholarship, supports various children's causes and the needs of the homeless."

What We Do
The Neil G. Shastri Foundation main activites focus on three things, fundraising for other charitable organizations, devoting time to volunteer at charities and other institutions of aid, and providing financial aid for high school graduates attending college. The direction of our efforts is guided by the ideals and compassion that Neil lived his life by.

On this fifth anniversary of his death and the tragedy of 9/11, we extend our condolences to those who knew Neil and loved him. We also lift up a prayer for peace... peace in the hearts of those he left behind, and peace for the world in general.

The real tragedy of 9/11 is that Neil and many like him, were cruelly cut down in the prime of life. People who, like Neil, had so much to give but were never allowed to. Never allowed to follow their dreams. Never allowed to pursue their true destiny.

LORD have mercy. And let us never forget...

22 Comments:

At 9/09/2006 10:25 AM , Blogger MargeinMI said...

That was lovely Hawkeye.

I find it truly the American Spirit that so many that endure the tragedy of losing a loved one establish foundations of charity in their names. Instead of bitterness and anger (though those are surely there), the focus is in giving and helping others.

God continue to bless those loved ones and this great country!

 
At 9/09/2006 10:40 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Marge,
Thanks. And you're absolutely right. Responding to violence or tragedy by giving to others is indeed noble.

 
At 9/09/2006 12:18 PM , Anonymous Ms RightWing, Ink said...

Great job. I am hoping to get my tribute completed for Monday. You have inspired me to move forward. Salute

 
At 9/09/2006 2:47 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Ms. RW,
Thanks. I'm looking forward to yours.

 
At 9/09/2006 4:07 PM , Blogger Beerme said...

hawkeye®,
Nice job! A fine tribute to Mr. Shastri. Here's hoping his foundation does alot of good.
BTW, my tribute is posted at Beer & Firkins, too. Check it out!

 
At 9/10/2006 1:34 AM , Blogger camojack said...

Good job...guess I'd better finish mine.

 
At 9/10/2006 4:14 PM , Blogger Jake said...

Wow - a wonderful tribute. There are just too many stories - too many individuals with such outstanding lives. Don't forget to "up" the tribute for Monday.

Also, don't forget about Timothy Aaron Haviland

 
At 9/11/2006 9:44 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Beerme & Camo,
Thanks.

Jake,
Thank you. I checked out yours too.

 
At 9/11/2006 11:27 PM , Blogger Karmyn R said...

Thank you for letting us know Neil a little better and remembering his life.

 
At 9/12/2006 8:01 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Karmyn,
Thanks. I read your tribute too. Very nice.

 
At 9/12/2006 2:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the honor of knowing Neil after his family moved to NJ. For three years he made me laugh. He actually made everyone laugh. This is so beautifully written Hawkeye.

 
At 9/12/2006 5:45 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Anonymous,
Thank you. I'm glad that someone who knew him had the opportunity to read this.

May God bless you...

 
At 9/11/2007 12:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil was a fun-loving, friendly person. He had a way of making people around him smile. I had the pleasure of knowing Neil during freshman year of college...we had lived in the same dorm - Clothier Hall.

 
At 9/11/2007 6:00 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Anonymous,
Thanks for your comment. I'm glad that someone who knew him personally had an opportunity to read this. I hope that I was able to do him some justice.

Best regards...

 
At 9/11/2011 3:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil was my uncle,my dad's sister's(Kruti) husband. I was the flowergirl at their wedding when I was 4, I am now 14, We give our condolences to everybody who knew Neil, and my aunt, Kruti who was strong and went through everything very bravely.

 
At 9/11/2011 6:46 PM , Anonymous craig mracek said...

i met Neil one time. he was a Rutgers student. i was much older invited to a campus party. it is not cool to be the old guy at a campus party of young college kids (even though i was stil in my 20's!!). i was treated like a leper by everyone there (even the folks who invited me) but Neil was kind to me. he noticed my RU shirt and spoke to me for 2 hours about rutgers basketball which he clearly loved. i am an RU bball season tix holder for 20 years now. i think of him at every home game during the National Anthem. i hope his family knows this one chance encounter made me remember him and the tragedy of 9/11 makes me think of him every RU basketball season.

 
At 9/11/2011 9:32 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Anonymous Flowergirl,
I'm glad you had a chance to read this. I hope I did a good job on this tribute.

 
At 9/11/2011 9:33 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

craig mracek,
Hi Craig. I'm glad you had a chance to read my memorial to Neil. It seems like he was a really nice guy.

 
At 9/13/2011 7:22 PM , Anonymous J. Scarpa said...

I visited the 9-11 memorial in Jersey City today and noticed a couple placing flowers by Neil's name. This prompted me to look him up online. I've been truly inspired by his life story. As a result, I feel more compelled to live a life that will make a positive impact on others, in order to honor the life that was tragically cut short on that unspeakably devastating day. I send my love to his family and friends.

 
At 9/13/2011 8:24 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

J. Scarpa,
I'm moved very deeply by your story. Thanks so much for sharing.

 
At 9/11/2012 12:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I've found this post everytime I reminisce about Neil, usually his birthday and 9/11. I met Neil as a freshman at Rutgers at Clothier Hall and he became on of my best friends.

I love the tribute (if that's the word) and glad he lives on, even if it is just in cyberspace.

 
At 9/11/2012 9:43 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Anonymous (Craig?),

Thanks for coming back. Glad I could help you reminisce.

 

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