James Cartier


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May He Never Be Forgotten




AMERICA'S ORDEAL

THE LOST

A 'Beautiful Young Man' With Strong Family Ties
Michele Cartier got out of the World Trade Center
Just in time, arriving home covered in ash, "We were given
a miracle with our daughter," said her father Patrick Cartier.
But he cannot completely rejoice at her escape. Her brother,
James, 26, lies buried beneath the rubble that once was Tower
Two, where he worked as an electrician.
"It was a triumph of evil, and all heaven stood silent,
said his father." "This beautiful young man was destroyed."
James Marcel Cartier was the second-youngest child of
seven in this close-knit Jackson Heights family. Soft-spoken
with a sunny disposition, he was quick to show affection,
particularly with his mother, Carmen, whom he adored. When
he laughed, as he did often, he had a "giant smile, these deep
dimples," said his younger brother, Michael.
Two years apart in age, James and Michael were inseparable.
They served as altar boys together, worked side by side in a
neighborhood pizzeria and slept in the same room in their parents'
basement until two years ago, when they moved out with a
friend into a three-bedroom apartment in Astoria. "The first
night there, we had trouble sleeping because we weren't next to each
other," said his brother. "And even after we moved out, he still
went home all the time to have dinner with his parents.
"James had been working as an apprentice electrician on the
92nd floor of Tower Two for two weeks before the building were
attacked. He managed to speak four times with his siblings before
the tower collapsed, telling his sister Marie, on the last call: "I want you to
tell Mom and Dad I love them more than anyting. Make sure you let
them know that James said he loved them."
Cartier's body has not yet been recovered. The Cartiers do not plan
to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, and even the family's staunch
Catholic faith cannot soothe his father's slow-burning anger.
"Pain has a way of taking prayers right off your lips and you can't
speak at all," he said. "I'm still stuck in Tower Two with my son...as
far as I'm concerned, I died with him."

-Jennifer Smith

2001 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission

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