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Boston Public Garden 9/11 Memorial
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Montclair State University 9/11 Memorial
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Fair Haven 9/11 Memorial
Freehold Township 9/11 Living Memorial Tree Grove
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Garrison Elementary School American Patriot Garden
Raymond Rocha was eight years old when his mother went blind. Though he was only in third grade, he quickly learned to do such grown-up chores as checking her bank statements and helping her prepare dinner. Later, he would give his mother such detailed descriptions of the movies he'd seen that she felt as if she'd seen them herself. "He was my eyes," says Ann Rocha.
Now she's lost her sight for a second time. Raymond Rocha, a bond trader for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 105th floor of One World Trade Center, is one of 700 Cantor Fitzgerald employees presumed dead from the impact of hijacked American Airlines flight 11 on the trade center's north tower. He had been working there for only a month.
When Ann Rocha remembers Ray, who was the youngest of her five children, she remembers his kindness. He still called her every day. When he was home, he'd often carry bags for her elderly neighbors. And he had an unforgettable smile, which he flashed at perfect strangers. He was always ready with a "How are you today?" for a supermarket cashier.
Rocha's father, Manuel, is a carpenter who worked long hours to put his children through school, and Ray didn't disappoint him. In high school Ray was an honors student and played football. He tutored classmates for the SAT when he brought them home for dinner, and he chose Brown in part because his mother felt nervous traveling on country roads to Dartmouth. "My Raymond," she recalls, "he never argued with me, and he never answered me back. I was always very happy in his company."
At Brown, Rocha concentrated in business economics, played football, and pledged Delta Tau. One measure of his friendliness was that he'd gone to twenty-eight weddings in the past three years. "He put a lot into twenty-nine years," his mother says. "You know how some people have tempers and show disagreement about everything? He never moaned and groaned. Every day was a new day, and he accepted new challenges."
Rocha had moved over the summer from the Boston suburbs to New Jersey, where he lived with his girlfriend. He loved his new job at Cantor Fitzgerald. "I think it was the high intensity," Ann Rocha says. "He thrived on it." He also loved sports, she says, taking every opportunity to run, toss a football, or play hockey. "He was gifted with speed, agility, concentration. And discipline."
Posted by Brown Alumni Magazine