This column originally appeared on Real Money Pro at 8:07 a.m. EDT on Sept. 11.NEW YORK ( Real Money) --
What do you want me to doSept. 11, 2001, still seems like yesterday to me. It is a day that I will forever remember vividly with clarity and disbelief. To many of us, 2001 will forever be annus horribilis -- the year of horror. On this day, as has been the case for the last 11 years, my eyes remain full of tears as I write this column in memory of all of those I knew (and those I didn't know) who were lost in the World Trade Center, in Pennsylvania and in Washington, D.C. It is said that death leaves a heartache that no one can heal but that love leaves a memory no one can steal. And so it is today Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012, we observe the eleventh anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. As I have for each of those years (with the blessing and permission of the powers that be on TheStreet and on Real Money Pro), today I want to pass along my thoughts by writing this opening missive as a dedication to some of those who were lost -- especially to my best pal, Chuck Zion (a.k.a., Brown Bear). Chuck worked at Cantor Fitzgerald, the brokerage firm that lost nearly 700 employees 10 years ago. It was the hardest-hit company in the World Trade Center tragedy, accounting for nearly one-quarter of the building's deaths that day. I lost many friends at Cantor on Sept. 11: Eric, Pat, Timmy -- too many to count. So did many others. And of course, we all lost one of TheStreet's own, Bill "Budman" Meehan. In Cantor Fitzgerald's equity division, none had more of a presence (literally and figuratively) than Chuck Zion. He was known to his friends and clients as the Brown Bear, a sensitive, giving and caring friend; father to Zach; son to Martin and Jane; and husband to the amazing Carole ("Cheezy"). His love was pure, and there was never any pretense -- not wordy, he was on point. The largest producer over the past decade at Cantor Fitzgerald, Chuck was master of his universe. He was straightforward and clear-cut, a no-nonsense and respected partner who was remarkably generous but never, ever wanted others to know it. He gave often and substantially but always anonymously, without strings attached. Chuck, who also worked at Salomon Brothers and Sanford C. Bernstein, put on some of the largest trades in the history of the equities market. He was the player the "big boys" went to when they wanted anonymity. And I am talking multimillion-share trades, the really big prints. And it was Chuck who introduced me to Bill Meehan -- he even had me fill in for Budman on a few occasions in the Cantor Daily News.
To watch for you while you're sleeping?
Well, please don't be surprised when you find me dreaming too;
It's just a box of rain,
I don't know who put it there.
Believe it if you need it,
Or leave it if you dare;
But it's just a box of rain
Or a ribbon for your hair;
Such a long, long time to be gone,
And a short time to be there. -- Grateful Dead, " Box of Rain"
At our synagogue last night on the eve of the Jewish New Year, our rabbi asked us to shout out the names of friends and family that we'd lost that day. There were so many names, it was frightening and I was glad we had left the kids at home. I felt honored to yell out Bill's name. And I feel honored to have gotten to meet and work with him in his short time on earth. Oops, wanted to cry as I wrote that. Could feel it coming on. Nope, no can do. Not with that picture of him in my mind wearing that funny floral shirt. He wouldn't want us to remember him in any other way than with laughter. God bless your soul, Bill. God bless the Meehan family. -- Jim Cramer, " Remembering Bill Meehan"Today, I will also share my fond memories of TheStreet's and Cantor Fitzgerald's Bill "Budman" Meehan with his good pals Jim Cramer, Tony Dwyer, Herbela Greenberg and others, and we will all toast him as so many subscribers did in the fall of 2001.
"All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing." -- Edmund BurkeFortunately, on May 2, 2011, some very good and courageous men gained revenge for Osama bin Laden's deeds 11 years ago. I hope that Osama bin Laden rots in hell. But revenge doesn't reverse the loss of so many.
"Revenge is an act of passion; vengeance of justice. Injuries are revenged; crimes are avenged." -- Samuel JohnsonI suppose that living and remembering is the best form of revenge. Thanks for reading this, and thanks for letting me wear my feelings on my sleeve. Before the market opens and as you watch the annual tribute in downtown New York City, think about our lost loved ones and how lucky we all are. We all miss you, Chuck.