Sep 9, 2016

9/11 Tribute to George Patrick McLaughlin, Jr.: We Wish You a Peaceful Journey

On September 11, 2001, 2,996 human lives were destroyed—monstrously, senselessly. Our fate, as those who were touched by this madness, is to try to understand, or at least to accept what happened. For my part, I research a little, write a little, and cry a little whenever I can.

Thanks to a loving inspiration on the part of a blogger, D.C. Roe, each of the 2,996 victims has at least one writer posting a tribute for that person. My honoree, George Patrick McLaughlin, became so real to me—it was painful to read all the loving comments posted by his friends and family. I found I could not use my own words to fabricate something—I needed to simply let the words of those who knew him best get together in one spot. One thing is for sure, George is greatly loved and will continue to be missed.


• Age: 36
• Occupation: Futures Trader, Carr Futures
• Originally from: Matawan NJ
• Resided in: Hoboken NJ
• Education: Matawan Regional HS and Wesley College
• Death: World Trade Center, South Tower, September 11, 2001

A Humorous, Fun-loving Guy
• “George was adorable and fun--we had a great time together”
• “George's love for life was an inspiration to our family”
• "We had many laughs and good times with George”
• “George had a passion for making people laugh and have fun”
• "George had a way of always making me laugh even when I was having a difficult day.”
• “I remember George as a funny and cute [guy] with a personality that was such a happy contagious one, with a great smile, that all of these years later, I still remember just that. (I did have a bit of a crush on him)”
• “So many memories, so much fun! From late night phone calls, to Bon Jovi concerts.”
• “George had the gift of being contagious-he would spread his laughing and friendliness to every single person he came in contact with."
• “He had such a strong sense of humor that it made it hard not to laugh by just looking at him.”
• “Georgie, I bet you and Big Jim are having a lot of laughs up there! I wish you both would come visit me in a dream sometime so I can see you smiling together”
• “It's true, he was always smiling and just enjoyed everyday. He always found a way to bring laughter (sometimes to the annoyance of teachers) to the most boring classes. I recall a frog that was supposed to be dissected dancing ballet across the desk first.”
• “George many times in college created fun and wonderful (sometimes crazy!) times that spread onto many, many, many people.”
• “He was such a great guy and such a practical joker. He made you feel so welcome and always kept us laughing because of the silly things he did and said.”
A Wonderful Friend
• “He was always a friend and flashing that smile. I remember him from my late teens/early twenties as getting along with everyone and making each person feel like they were of value to him(we all were).”
• “Georgie and I first met at school (Wesley), where He and I shared some wonderful times together. We also spent many a night giving Ocean city all it could handle.”
• “Thanks again for making me feel like a million bucks on a night I was down.”
• “I have a picture of you taped to my computer at work and home-and whenever i feel sad i look at your picture and smile right back at you.”
• “George was a peacemaker-a guy who brought people together with his warmth and easy laugh.”
• “I saw his smile and his eyes and immediately knew it was the same George I grew up with riding mopeds and playing wiffle ball in the Mclaughlin back yard.”
• “Georgie is definitely one of a kind and I will treasure the memories that I have - train rides to NY, hanging out at the Dugout, and most of all the late night phone calls.”
• “George made you feel like family from the first time you laid eyes on him! The best and sweetest of people.”
• “I will always remember George as an 18-year-old kid with a quick wit and a sincere heart.”
• “George was a special person who touched my life with his kindness & love of life”
• “I remember George as a great kid who was a good little ball player.”
• “Georgie was always loyal to his team, his job as a metals trader, and especially to his family and friends. One thing for certain, he could make anyone smile regardless of the situation.”

Articles, Poetry about George
George Patrick McLaughlin grew up as the middle child and only boy among four sisters. He was the peacemaker, the practical joker, the one who could never keep a secret. “Mom, I'm not supposed to tell you this,” he would say if a surprise party was being planned. “But we're having a birthday cake.”

His college major was girls, said his mother, Dorothy McLaughlin. When he had a graduation party in Ocean City, N.J., where the family goes for the summer, a family friend remarked that he had never seen such a mixed group, all getting along. “He's the core of many of his friends,” Mrs. McLaughlin said. “He likes to keep people happy.”

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 16, 2001.
George Patrick McLaughlin Jr: A Caring Spirit Who Enjoyed His Jokes
Dorothy McLaughlin always knew her middle child was a good son, the family joker and a sweet and caring brother to his four sisters.

But from the hundreds of letters that she has received since George McLaughlin Jr.'s death Sept. 11 at the World Trade Center, McLaughlin has learned even more about her “Georgie.”

One friend told her about the time McLaughlin organized a trip to a prizefight in Atlantic City in 1992. After the match, McLaughlin ran down to the ropes, told a guard he worked for a TV station, and jumped into the ring in time to get on TV while the winner of the World Boxing Association heavyweight championship match was announced.

A female co-worker told her about how McLaughlin guided her out of the World Trade Center after the 1993 bombing. McLaughlin's reassuringly told her, “Don't worry, sweets, don't worry.”

And then there was the client of Carr Futures, where McLaughlin, 36, worked trading metals futures, who said workers in the client's Dallas office loved dealing with McLaughlin on the phone because of the balance he struck between his personality and professional competence. He begged his Dallas clients repeatedly to send him “some of that old-fashioned Texas chili.”

A Hoboken, N.J., resident, McLaughlin was born and raised in Matawan, N.J.
He graduated from Wesley College in Dover, Del., in 1988, and after a trip driving cross-country with a couple of friends, McLaughlin got a job with Dean Witter at the World Trade Center. He remained with the company when it merged with Morgan Stanley, and then Carr Futures.

The letters, Dorothy McLaughlin said, serve as pleasant reminders of the boy she raised. His personality, his caring, his way of bringing people together come back when she reads. So do more subtle memories, she said, like how McLaughlin's nose crinkled up, and he covered his mouth when he laughed.

“He had a young spirit,” she said. “I am very proud.”

—Steven Kreytak, Newsday
Poem about George

I think about your smile, that smile that starts in your heart and connects to others through your eyes.

I think about your laugh, that laugh that exudes boyish charm and entreats others to enjoy life.

I think about your family, your mother, father and sisters who love you unconditionally and gave you the capacity to love others freely and without judgment.

I think about your extended family, brothers(in-law), aunts, uncles, cousins, nephew, who you draw close and with whom you create an impenetrable bond.

I think about your friends, friends like family, who share memories of merry pranks, parties and after midnight talks that still resound.

I think about you a lot Georgie. I think about the pain of not being able to embrace you in an everlasting hug and I think about the joy of the hugs we shared that will be felt forever.

Dear Georgie,
We miss you a lot.

—Gabby Lehne, Matawan, NJ


Roger Paul said...

I only know of George by way of his sister Linda who worked at the same employer as me in Holmdel. I spent time assisting Linda with a tribute to George on the first anniversary.

I was glad to help and learned how much his family and friends loved him.

God bless the McLaughlin family.

Roger Paul

Carolyn Blount Brodersen said...

Thank you, Roger Paul, for posting your personal experience. I was asked to write about George as a project--each person who passed away in the 9/11 tragedy was assigned to one writer. After researching and posting about George, I think he took up residence in my heart. I think about him at least every year on the anniversary of 9/11, but at other times too. I can practically hear his voice and imagine laughing at his jokes. It's too easy to lose track of the personal lives that were lost. But in a small way, he lives on.

Roger Paul said...

As a professional IT, I spent many hours with Linda going through family recordings of him playing and joking with family members and I was able to mix some of the recordings in with his favorite music on a tribute CD made for the family. That experience touched me in a way that I can't explain. I too miss him and will think of him and the McLaughlin's every year.

America will never forget.

Carolyn Blount Brodersen said...

Thank you so much for doing that, Roger. Your contribution is a beautiful one!