Monday, September 11, 2006

I Remember Steven Hagis - A Man of Faith





On September 11, 2001 a special New Yorker by the name of Steven Hagis gave his life in the World Trade Center attacks. A Vice President of Government Bonds with Cantor Fitzgerald, he was in Tower 1 (north) floor 105.

At 6'9", it would be hard to miss Mr. Hagis (also known as "Steve" and "Stevie" amongst friends and family) yet his physical stature was nothing compared to the size of his heart. Stories of his courage and faithfulness flood the internet, from memories of his ministry with Gateway Cathedral where he taught 3 year old children to recollections of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in which he arrived home late because he was assisting a man in a wheelchair out of the building.

He attended Fairfield College on full scholarship where he played basketball for the Stags from 1987-1991 (number 23). A knee injury took him out of the sport, so he focused on his education, graduating with a degree in finance and economics.

As I searched for information on Mr. Hagis, my heart was warmed by the love for him spread throughout the world wide web. Family and friends of several victims, including Mr. Hagis, attended a ceremony on September 11, 2004. His sister, Stacy, was among the family members wearing special shirts to honor her brother. "...Asked how her brother would react to the commemoration ceremonies, she said, smiling softly, "He would hate this -- having his name written in stone after stone, plastered everywhere. He wasn't a limelight person." She added, however, that she and her family had attended every remembrance ceremony because they feel it is the best way to honor his life. "We spend every day thinking of him, remembering him," she said...."



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Stacy and Michael Hagis in the shirts remembering Steven

Richard Avvento is a childhood neighbor of Mr. Hagis. As I read through his email I tried to pick out the "important parts" to share with readers of this blog entry. But they are all important! I ask you to devote some time to reading these words:






Hi Heather, i was sitting on my couch watching the 9/11 documentary filmed by the 2 French brothers doing a story on the Fire Department when I checked my email and saw your email. I think it's absolutely wonderful that you and so many
others are taking the time to honor those who perished on that awful morning.

My brother and I became very close to Stevie because we
lived a couple of doors down in Brooklyn, NY. Stevie was always a big, gentile giant. Although I was 3 years older than him he was probably the same size as me or taller. The memories I have of Stevie was that of his beautiful family and
the fun we used to have doing what kids do.

We played for hours upon hours, matchbox cars, toy soldiers, Star Wars action figures, etc. Mostly in his bedroom where all his toys were. My brother and Stevie, who were a year apart, my brother his senior, would argue all the time and I always
remembered it was because my brother, until this day, loves to break chops. I mean he would tease to no end.

Going in the pool and going to his Grandma's house on East 49th street for their annual block party was also some
great memories. We would stay out until late in the eveing and that was always a treat. Unfortunately as we got older, Stevie moved away to Staten Island and although my Mom would keep in touch with his Mom, we grew apart.

I actually found out in November 2001, when I was at a
wedding for the daughter of the woman who bought the Hagis' house about Stevie's death. I was floored. Now 5 years later it still feels like that dreadful as if it were yesterday.

I know that Stevie's legacy will always live on. I also know that with a family like his, great people, people who have always
been so good and kind-hearted for as long as I know them will keep his memory alive. Thanks for your time and I'm sure his parents friends and family would also thank you for the beautiful things you and so many others are doing.

God Bless.

Richard Avvento
There is so much more to Steven Hagis, more than I would be able to discover through simple internet searches. I will continue to add more information about his LIFE as I come across it. I can tell you this, Steven M Hagis knew the Lord Jesus Christ, he was a faithful man and a humble servant of the Lord. He gave time and time again in his life, whether it was cooking breakfast for the men's bible group, teaching scripture to young married couples, or attending retreats and opening their homes to young people. He loved the Lord, and loved doing the Lord's work. As his mother said, "I don't cry for Steven. He is in heaven. But I cry for our family, for the emptiness and brokenness in our hearts."

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Mrs MaryJane and Mr Steven Hagis - I wanted to send you a special message. I know what it feels like to lose a child - I know how hard it is on every anniversary date, especially when the birthday is so close. My heart is with you and I hope that you remember that Steven will NEVER be forgotten! He not only touched lives while he was here, but the memories people have of him are shared, and touching more lives every day. I didn't have the honor of knowing Steven in this life, I wish I had. But I know that his light continues to shine on earth through those whose lives he touched. People have been brought to Christ through Steven, even members of his own family. His cousin Nicole writes:


Hi, my name is Nicole Hitchcock. Steven Hagis was my cousin. He was an amazing man. A devoted husband to his wife Gloria, beloved father to his children Jaclyn and Daniel, Hero to his siblings Christopher and Stacy and blessing to his parents Maryjane and Steve Hagis. I will always remember the fourth of July, it was one of Steven's favorite days. We would have a BBQ at his mom's house every year and spend the day in the pool with family and friends. Because of Steven, I am now a devoted Christian. He showed me that turning to Christ is the way to live my life and that is something I try to pass on to others. If there is anything specific you would like to know please let me know. I hope I was able to help you understand more about Steven and what a wonderful man he was.

Steven M Hagis was 31 when he died and he left behind not only a wife, Gloria, but two beautiful children, Jacyln and Daniel. He is also survived by his mother MaryJane, his father Steven, brother Christopher, and sister Stacy. His Grandfather joined him in heaven on June 19, 2004.

Links of Interest
A letter to Steve on his 33rd Birthday
Rebuilding NYC - A Street Named after Steven
2,996 Project


Resources
SILive.com
Guestbook for Steven Hagis
Steven Hagis Memorial Website (Under Construction)



Special Thanks to Nicole and Richard for sharing their personal thoughts with me - my prayers are with you today, as with all of the family and friends of Steven.

46 Comments:

At 7:05 PM, Blogger Jen said...

Well done, Heather! I would have liked to have met Steven Hagis, he sounds like a wonderful man.

 
At 9:31 PM, Blogger Beth said...

Beautiful job, Heather. Steven Hagis sounds like a warm, wonderful man. I'm sorry I didn't know him.

I added a link to your blog on mine; hope you don't mind.

 
At 10:23 PM, Blogger Ma said...

Such a wonderful tribute. Thank you for sharing this and for stopping by my post.

 
At 10:41 PM, Blogger Karmyn R said...

The best way to share someone's life is to share what others had to say! That was great. Wonderful tribute.

 
At 1:54 AM, Blogger JayGT said...

Steven sounds like a great guy. There were a lot of great folsk killed that day. I wrote a tribute to Harry Ramos, who died in Tower 1 as well, comforting a complete stranger.

http://www.buygilberthomes.com/?p=128

 
At 4:41 AM, Blogger Marni said...

With tears in my eyes I applaud your post. I feel like I know Steve. Thank you!

 
At 4:48 AM, Blogger Dale said...

Great tribute Heather.

 
At 5:19 AM, Blogger Coaster Punchman said...

Heather, thank you for taking the time to post this lovely tribute to Steven. It is a difficult day for his family, but I hope they will get a chance to see that complete strangers can care so much.

CP

 
At 5:52 AM, Blogger brian said...

Thank you for bringing him to life through the words and stories of his family and friends. Thank for contacting and posting the e-mail. Wonderful tribute.

Please stop by my tribute to Gilbert and leave a link and comment so that others can come here to read.

 
At 7:01 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

Thank you for writing this tribute. It always touches me deeply when children are left behind. We must always remember to pray for the families.

 
At 7:08 AM, Blogger whispers of the morning said...

What an amazing tribute and very well done. He sounds like is was truly amazing.

Thanks for visiting my tribute to Jospeh Kellett.

www.simplydawnmarie.com

 
At 7:12 AM, Blogger Shannon said...

thanks so much for being a part of this

 
At 7:12 AM, Blogger Kiki said...

Your tribute was beyond beautiful. I am having a harder and harder time getting through these tributes. I am so honored to be remembering Teresa Martin today at http://multifacetedmama.com/index.php.

 
At 7:49 AM, Blogger Rayne said...

Thank you for helping us remember Steve in such a warm and personal way. For bringing home to us that he was a human being not just a number.
My tribute is for Robert J. DeAngelis.

 
At 8:17 AM, Blogger Chi said...

What a touching, and inspirational tribute to this very special man. You certainly did an exceptional job.

 
At 8:26 AM, Blogger Old Lady said...

Brilliantly detailed. Good job.

 
At 8:29 AM, Blogger Jodi said...

Thank you for posting such a nice tribute. Today should be a day to celebrate Steven's life, as well as all the other people who's lives were cut short five years ago.

To you, Steven....

 
At 8:47 AM, Blogger SassDeluxe said...

That was beautiful Heather.

 
At 8:52 AM, Blogger Biker Betty said...

Wonderful tributes to Steve Hagis. Such a sad event to have happened and so many tragically killed.

The 2,996 Tribute project is such a great idea. My tribute to a Chief Battalion firefighter is up.

 
At 9:00 AM, Blogger Amanda said...

A wonderful tribute to Steve Hagis!

 
At 9:09 AM, Blogger Ms. Vickie said...

A beautiful tribute Heather.

 
At 9:42 AM, Blogger Katherine said...

That was a really moving tribute. Thanks for stopping by my tribute to Marjorie C. Salamone.

 
At 10:09 AM, Blogger kateandjona said...

A beautiful rememberance. Thanks for sharing.

Jonathon's Closet remembers Robert Levine, also a Cantor employee.

 
At 11:02 AM, Blogger Stacy said...

Thanks to you also for your tribute.

 
At 11:04 AM, Blogger Justice Montgomery said...

What a great tribute. So many wonderful people were lost that day. I think that the WTC employers really knew how to pick them. My deepest sympathies go out to this wonderful young man's family and friends....

Blessings,
Justice
In Memory of Edward York

 
At 11:08 AM, Blogger MysteriousLady said...

What a lovely tribute! You did an excellent job. Mine is up also.

 
At 11:18 AM, Blogger Mystery Inside said...

You did an amazing job. Thanks for directing me here.

 
At 11:19 AM, Blogger AFSister said...

This is beautifully done- I love the personal emails you included. It sounds like another angel is in heaven now, looking over us all. God bless the angels among us.
Thanks for your kind comment on my post honoring Davin.

 
At 11:20 AM, Blogger Carmen said...

A lovely tribute. We can never forget all the lives that were given that day.

Thanks for visiting my tribute of Lt. Col. Johnson today.

 
At 11:24 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Wonderful tribute. Thank you. I honored Frank Joseph Naples

 
At 11:42 AM, Blogger The Kept Woman said...

Such a beautiful life lost for such a worthless cause. You did a great job remembering Steven. I'm sure he'd be thoroughly embarrassed (as his sister mentioned) but he deserves it.

Thank you.

 
At 11:42 AM, Blogger The Kept Woman said...

He deserves the tribute...not the embarrassment. Sorry for the confusion...

 
At 11:47 AM, Blogger Pentha said...

Thank you for a beautiful tribute.

Tribute to Christopher Paul Slattery

 
At 12:45 PM, Blogger Kathie said...

What a beautiful tribute, thanks so much for sharing Steven with us.

Jimmy Audiffred: Let the Light Shine
Since the 2996 list is down due to server overload, an alternative is available through Google's cache: click here for cache.

Other tributes: Frederick Kuo Jr. and Francis Nazario, also Juan Salas.

Please pass the candle by sharing other tributes while leaving kind words in the comments of blogs paying tribute to the 2,996 lost on September 11th.

God bless,
Kathie

 
At 1:15 PM, Blogger Renee said...

I didn't know you blogged until Jen posted it. Very nice tribute. Bookmarking your blog.

 
At 1:43 PM, Blogger Stefanie said...

Thank you for helping me get to know Steven Hagis. He seemed like a wonderful and very very loved man. Unfortunately, the woman I honored, hardly had anything said about her and it was incredibly tough to dig up facts about her life. Please visit my site if you have a chance so at least some people will get an opportunity to know her name.

 
At 2:05 PM, Blogger Tammy said...

Outstanding tribute of a man who was an earth bound angel. He is now free to be with God. God bless those who loved him. We will remember Steven!

 
At 4:23 PM, Blogger sikamikanico said...

Thank you so much for sharing this - I feel so honoured to have been part of this project.

 
At 4:57 PM, Blogger Julie said...

Very beautiful tribute to Steven Hagis. The world lost a truly special young man on that horrible day 5 years ago.

 
At 5:40 PM, Blogger Skye said...

A wonderful and moving tribute to Steve.

Well Done!

Skye

In Memory of Marcello Matricciano

 
At 6:33 PM, Blogger Carl said...

My prayers go out to the Hagis family tonight. Thank you, Heather.

 
At 8:35 PM, Blogger truckdriver_sefl said...

simply awesome

 
At 6:03 AM, Blogger FRIDAY'S CHILD said...

It is so wonderful of you to share your tribute.
As I continuously keep visiting sites with tribute, it makes my heart bleed for all the victims and brings tears to my eyes as I recall all these young people losing their lives to something beyond their control. These cruel people who caused the tragedy just didn't care about these innocent lives, lives with yet unfulfilled dreams, lives who may have been depended upon by their loved ones. My sympathy goes to all the victims' family of these Sept. 11/2001 tragedy. My heart will always have a special place for all of you.
Thanks for passing by.

 
At 12:35 PM, Blogger Sojourner said...

Nice tribute, Heather. You have honored a fine man.

God bless.

 
At 11:02 PM, Blogger gordaboo said...

Steven Hagis is now a face to me thru your tribute. Thank you for contributing to this wonderful project.

We will never forget.

I remember Lisa Egan

 
At 12:18 PM, Blogger Jen said...

I'm going through and re-reading the tributes from last year. Thanks again for writing this, and for helping keep these memories alive. We all lost so much that day.

 

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