Never Forget the Three KA Brothers Lost on September 11, 2001

May we never forget the three KA brothers who died in the dreadful attacks on September 11, 2001: Robert J. Maxwell (Delta Iota–Texas-Arlington ’68), Christopher D. Mello (Zeta Beta–Princeton ’95), and David S. Suarez (Zeta Eta–Penn State ’96).

Robert J. Maxwell (Delta Iota–Texas-Arlington ’68)
Born: June 14, 1948
Died: September 11, 2001
911 Memorial Name Location – S1 on the South Pool

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When Robert J. Maxwell didn’t come home from work at the Pentagon, his wife figured he had gotten stuck in the snarl of traffic after the building was evacuated. Then she waited for the page that wouldn’t come.
The Manassas, Va., man had worked as a civilian budget analyst for the U.S. Army for 29 years. He was just a year away from retirement. He planned to play a lot of golf, do the books for wife Karen Greenberg’s psychology practice and basically take care of her.

Maxwell, 54, appeared to be conservative but wasn’t, his wife said. He enjoyed cooking Southwestern and Creole food, listened to Janis Joplin and Joe Cocker, and joked with a dry wit. “He had a very vast sense of humor,” Greenberg said. “There was an absurdity to it.”

The former Texan loved to do crossword puzzles and teased his wife of three years about being a native New Yorker.

They were opposites, she said. “But we blended. He gave me grounding, and I gave him creativity.”
Profile courtesy of THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE.

911 Memorial Page

David S. Suarez (Zeta Eta–Penn State ’96)
Born: October 30, 1976
Died: September 11, 2001
World Trade Center North Tower
911 Memorial Name Location – N17 North Pool

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Hope faded, so we gathered to remember.
Muscles relaxed, eyes closed, a chill ran like an electric charge from my neck to my toes. I took a deep breath – because that helps – and looked out over the more than 700 people crammed into the Church of St. David the King, Princeton Junction, N.J.

Our hearts were breaking, but the chill was one of the many signs that Dave was still with us.
David Scott Suarez was born into this world on Oct. 30, 1976.

He was taken from it when, at 8:48 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center north tower, just a few floors from the 99th, where he was conducting an audit.
He was 24 years old, and grew up in New Jersey.

I knew Dave well, but always expected to get to know him better.

He was a brother and a friend – rush chairman when I pledged my college fraternity, the Kappa Alpha Order, at Penn State.

Originally, I was reluctant to join a fraternity, considering it would be given up part of my individuality.
As only the third representative of KA with whom I spoke as a freshman, I was assured that retaining one’s individuality was the first priority of becoming a KA.

Dave had long hair. So did I. We were in the minority at the time, two of only three who dared to let our locks drop past our neckline.

As one of my brothers, Dave’s very close friend and former roommate Brian Beabout, said at Saturday’s memorial service, “David embraced opposites.”

About four years ago, he had long hair that he let hang over the collar of his polo shirt, which was tucked into a pair of khaki pants. He liked the looks inspired by that sort of simple fashion contradiction.
Dave always smiled.

Of course there was no casket at the service; there was no body. What is left of Dave’s physical self remains buried amidst the rubble and the chaos.

It’s needless to say the week of Sept. 11 was extremely difficult for every American. I watched in horror from The REPUBLICAN & Herald newsroom as American Flight 77 hit the south tower a few minutes later.
The career I’ve chosen for myself – or which I often say has chosen me – has forced me to defy the desire to look away. I – like many others – have been unable to “get my mind off it” or “think of other things.”
Instead, I’ve been submersed in all the pain which, in a strange way, probably made me stronger.
It took several days before I heard Dave was missing.

My cousin worked on the 25th floor, but she was in Philadelphia on business, so I was relieved.
I knew Dave was in New York, but not sure where. I didn’t feel rushed to find out, because it never occurred to me there would not be plenty of time to catch up on the news.

As I said before, I knew Dave well, but as happens with many college friends, we lost touch after graduation.
And also as I said before, I always assumed there was plenty of time.

Unfortunately, I was wrong.

Dave, an analyst for Deloitte & Touche, one of the world’s leading consulting and accounting firms, out of its Chadds Ford office near Philadelphia, but was on temporary duty at Marsh & McLennan’s, on the 99th floor of the World Trade Center’s north tower.

He was with the firm for two years and regarded as among its best and brightest.
Dave also volunteered in soup kitchens with the charity group New York Cares.

At the time of his death, he was applying to graduate schools in pursuit of his MBA.
When I read and watched reports of the devastation in New York, it all seemed like a nightmare – like a faceless horror committed by faceless demons.

And when I found out one of those screaming for help was a friend, something crumbled inside of me at that moment, like so much steel and concrete strewn across Battery Park.

Almost everyone in the nation knew someone who could have been killed that day. That’s one of the reasons it has spawned such resolve among Americans, as well as the world.
It all seemed so hopeless, until I heard Dave’s father speak on Saturday.
He told an unbelievable story that made me believe people die, but they live on in other ways.
As Dave’s father was walking down the street toward the Trade Center – he works on Wall Street a few blocks away – he looked down and picked up a piece of paper amidst thousands of scraps blowing down the streets, the contents of tens of thousands of offices.
Later that night, after he had received no word from his son, he remembered the paper he had put in his briefcase and decided to take a look.
It was the billing report for the project Dave was working on for Marsh & McLennan, something that was probably in his possession Tuesday morning.
He knew it was a sign, that everything would be OK, and he knew Dave’s spirit would survive, even if his body wasn’t given that chance.
It’s been a rough two weeks, but a challenge to all of our faith has and will continue to make us stronger. At very least, we’ve become more sensitive, and now know what in life is truly important.
The trivial things no longer bother me.
From the Republican Herald, Staff Writer Rory Schuler (Schuler, a Schuylkill Haven native, is a reporter.) September 25, 2011)
Also see his memorial to 9/11

Christopher D. Mello (Zeta Beta–Princeton ’95)
Born: June 22, 1976
Died: September 11, 2001
American Flight 11
911 Memorial Name Location – N75 North Pool

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Christopher D. Mello was handsome. (He had “a kinetic smile,” said his father, Douglas Mello.) He was athletic. (He led his high school football team to the New York State finals.) He was polite. (He wrote a thank- you note to his interviewer after getting into Princeton.)
At 180 pounds, he was too slender even for Ivy League football, so he turned to rugby at Princeton. In Boston, where he worked as an analyst for Alta Communications, he took up boxing.
But Mr. Mello was also a poet, a film buff and an artist. “If there was one thing Chris would have wanted to do, it was be a cartoonist,” said his girlfriend, Kristy Walsh. An aficionado of “Garfield” and “Calvin and Hobbes,” Mr. Mello created his own cartoon characters and would doodle during pauses in his countless conference calls.
A father and a girlfriend see a man through different lenses, but both agreed that Mr. Mello was exceedingly loyal to friends. Ms. Walsh recalled the day she and Mr. Mello drove four hours to see her sister perform a three-minute dance piece. Two thousand people came to the wake after he died on Flight 11. He was 25.
After Sept. 11, Ms. Walsh learned that Mr. Mello had saved a valentine she sent him in fifth grade.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 13, 2001.
Christopher D. Mello, 25, of Boston, Massachusetts, formerly of Rye, New York, a victim of the American Airlines Flight 11 catastrophe, died on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.
Chris was born on June 22, 1976 in Greenwich, Connecticut, to Douglas and Ellen Mello. He was an outstanding student and athlete at Rye High School, graduating in 1994. He was loved by students, teachers and coaches, alike. Chris was vice president of the senior class and a member of the National Honor Society, maintaining an academic average of 93.84. Chris received the University of Michigan Book Award for Academic Excellence and received a Magna Cum Laude grade on the 1993 National Latin Exam. An active participant in varsity sports, Chris was a member of the varsity football team and served as a co-captain in 1993. The team went on to the New York State finals, where Chris was voted the most valuable defensive player of the tournament. He was also presented with the Golden Dozen Scholar Athletic Award for both his on-field and academic achievements. He was also a member of the varsity basketball and baseball teams and was voted Con-Edison’s athlete of the week in 1993. While at Rye High School, Chris was a model United Nations representative, student leader of the Core Group, a member of Student’s Against Drunk Driving, the Principal’s Student Union Advisory Board, Class Yearbook, Student Council, and the Sportsmanship Committee. He performed more than 200 hours of community service.
Chris graduated from Princeton University in 1998, where he majored in Psychology and was vice president of the Cottage Club, and a member of the men’s Rugby Club, Kappa Alpha Order fraternity, and the 21 Club.
Chris, who enjoyed playing golf with his family, was a member of the Apawamis Country Club in Rye, New York, and the Rye YMCA.
He worked as a financial analyst at BT Alex Brown in Baltimore, Maryland, before moving to Boston, Massachusetts, where he worked as an analyst for Alta Communications.
In addition to his parents, Douglas and Ellen Mello of Rye, Chris is survived by his brother, John Douglas Mello, also a graduate of Princeton University and avid athlete. J.D. resides in Manhattan, New York. Chris is also survived by his paternal grandmother, Alice Mello of Barefoot Bay, Florida.
Visiting hours are scheduled for Sunday, September 16, 2001, 2-4 and 7-9 p.m., at Graham Funeral Home, 1036 Boston Post Road, Rye. Memorial services are scheduled for Monday, September 17, 11 a.m., at Resurrection Church, 910 Boston Post Road, Rye.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations made in Chris’ memory to the Rye YMCA at 21 Locust Street, Rye, NY 10580.
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