Eric Stahlman was 43 years old when he was killed.
His now 94-year-old father Sam, an infantryman who stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, still refers to his son as “a good boy.”
“He was a wonderful boy. Everybody loved Eric, because he helped everybody,” Sam Stahlman said Wednesday. “Anybody in trouble came to Eric.”
“He had a great sense of humor,” added his mother, Renee.
Stahlman, who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald at the World Trade Center, was among the nearly 3,000 people who perished in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Theirs and the memories of all those who died were honored during a moving ceremony Wednesday, the 18th anniversary of 9/11, at Patchogue’s newly built 9/11 Memorial Park.
“There’s a saying, that as long as we remember those who have passed, they still live,” said Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine. “Today, we remember.”
“What happened on that day changed us, and made us appreciate more the people who are here with us now,” said Dave Rogers, the commander of VFW Post 2913 and a Sept. 11 responder with the National Guard.
“But sadly, every day, someone else is lost to this great tragedy,” he said of those dying from 9/11 rubble-related illnesses. “So we want to remember those faces while we can, before they’re gone from us.”
Top: World War II veteran Sam Stahlam is helped to the podium Wednesday by Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri. (Credit: Michael White)