Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering Harvey J. Gardner III

Harvey was a single man, aged 35, who loved his two brothers and his whole family. He was a call records management supervisor for General Telecom and he worked on the 83rd floor of Tower 1 at the World Trade Center. Harvey was at work in the building when the attacks occurred.

Harvey was from Lakewood, NJ, and somehow I can hear his voice in that cool Jersey accent.

Harvey, I never knew you, but I will never forget you. When i was given your name I searched the internet for your picture, and as I saw your face for the first time, I blubbered like a baby. My sorrow over your death is still felt, and I know it can't compare to the grief your family must feel.

I went to bed last night thinking about you and your brothers. Each time I woke up in the middle of the night you were on my mind. As I made my morning coffee, as I work at my desk.

You shouldn't have had to die that day. No one should have. My emotions flux between anger and sorrow, disbelieve, resignation and back to anger. My hope is that you are at peace.

I will remember you and never forget.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Below are two tributes to Harvey; the first being written by his younger brother, Anthony.

Tribute to Harvey-- A True American Hero, Forever Strong and Loved

Harvey Joseph Gardner III, 35, was truly wise for his age. An animated energized man that excelled at living, he had an astute appreciation and passion for life. "Harvey was adored and appreciated for his strength, integrity, and wisdom--he was my big brother, my teacher, my friend," said his youngest brother Anthony.

Harvey saw himself as a work-in-progress and always strove to be the best person that he could be. Three years ago, he decided to go back to school to become a certified computer technician. He realized an insatiable interest in the field and began his job at the World Trade Center two years ago. Harvey had a knack for making everyone comfortable and many of his coworkers soon became part of his family.

In his spare time, Harvey could always be found running or riding his bike at the beach in Spring Lake, NJ--he lived in Lakewood, NJ with his other brother, Mark for the last four years. He enjoyed and participated in the martial arts, loved to cook, loved his family and protected them throughout his entire life, was an American patriot, a student of history, and a collector of memories. He will forever be remembered for the sensitive, strong, beautiful man that he was.

His family is FOREVER PROUD.

Tribute submitted by Anthony Gardner.

Built From Scratch

For his career, Harvey Gardner chose the computer lab over the kitchen, but both places fostered his creativity. He was a tinkerer, someone who built computers from stray parts and, evidently, built dinners the same way. Mr. Gardner, 35, did all the cooking for himself and his younger brother Mark, with whom he lived in Spring Lake, N.J. But the recipes were gleaned from the air.

"They were all his own concoctions," said another brother, Anthony, who is the founder of the WTC United Family Group (, an information network for families of the victims of Sept. 11. "It was crazy stuff. But it was good."

A practitioner of martial arts and a devotee of the History Channel, Mr. Gardner was a computer consultant for General Telecom on the 83rd floor of 1 World Trade Center.

"Mark managed to get through to him at the trade center that morning," Anthony Gardner said. "And Mark heard him comforting others, telling them it was O.K. He was being his normal, level-headed self."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 12, 2001.

Harvey Gardner, 35, a role model

When a hijacked airplane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, Harvey Joseph Gardner called his brother Mark to let him know what was happening.

Mr. Gardner was reassuring the people who worked around him on the 93rd floor in the office of General Telecom.

"I can imagine what he did when the events unfolded," another brother, Anthony, said. "I'm sure he was helping people who couldn't get out."

To his family, Mr. Gardner was a hero and role model. "He knew what was important in life," Anthony Gardner said.

Born in Newark, Mr. Gardner lived in Belleville before moving to Lakewood four years ago.

After high school, Mr. Gardner couldn't decide whether to be a chef or computer technician. He chose the latter as a profession, and dabbled in the former as a hobby. He was 35.

"He loved to cook," said Anthony Gardner. "He used to make his concoctions, putting them over pasta. He was inventive in his cooking."

Mr. Gardner had been a car salesman. But about three years ago, got a job at General Telecom, where he was a supervisor.

At home, he practiced martial arts.

"He promoted a healthy lifestyle. He was very spiritual and liked to run on the beach," Anthony Gardner said.

Judith Torea, Mr. Gardner's mother, said her son always wanted to help his country. She said she saw his death as just that.

"He was trying to calm other people down. That's the kind of person he was. He had a very kind heart."

In Mr. Gardner's honor, his family and friends created a Web site for victims' families:

Mr. Gardner also is survived by his father, Harvey J. Gardner II; stepfather, Manuel Torea, and a half-brother, Joseph.

A memorial Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Raphael's Church, Livingston.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mr. Gardner's name to the Make a Wish Foundation of New Jersey, 1034 Salem Road, Union, N.J. 07083.

Profile by Reginald Roberts published in THE STAR-LEDGER.


healthpsych said...

A beautiful tribute, Mckay.

We won't forget Harvey J. Gardner III.

Ellen said...

Very nicely done....a wonderful tribute indeed!

Dave Morris said...

Nice. I hope people took a few minutes yesterday and thought about the victims and the anniversary.

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...

Jamie Dawn said...

A guy who could cook. He sounds like a wonderful person. It really hits home when you look at a photo of someone who was murdered that day. You see their eyes and it resonates that they were a person just like you with loved ones and friends just like you. Thanks for remembering Harvey.

Mr. Althouse said...

That was nice. Really. I am sure Harvey would appreciate it.


anthony said...

I went to school with Harvey from K to 10th grade. He was a great guy. We lost touch after High School. After hearing what happened on 911, I thought about him alot, remembering what a nice person he really was. I pray for him, and his family.

Wayne Cordova said...

We won't forget you Harvey!

veighlyn said...

I knew Harvey's Niece.
The day after Sept.11th,
I was determined to go into the city and help. I went into a chat, letting people I know I was going in. Harvey's niece wrote me, and asked if I could post flyers of him for her. This was obviously before anyone knew who survived.
I made about 100 flyers, and went into the city at night. In the rain, I posted the flyers over the city.
The next day, I was looking to see what more I could do to help with 9-11, people told me to go to the Jacob Javitz center. Military trucks were gathering supplies to help with disaster relief there.
I helped there for a day, then asked where the red cross was. I was led to 150 Amsterdam Avenue, from there I joined the red cross, and help in any way possible.
RIP Harvey!!! RIP all that were lost..