Mom: 9/11 victim was fun, happy
This is the latest in a series of profiles of Long Island families who lost loved ones on 9/11, and how they're coping 10 years later. If you knew any of the victims, you can send in memories, photos or video using the iReport tool in the newsday.com iPhone application (click on iReporter in the top navigation). Or, go to www.newsday.com/911anniversary.
GEORGE C. CAIN
George C. Cain, 35, grew up in Massapequa and had been living in upstate Patterson. He was a member of the FDNY’S Ladder 7 in Manhattan. His body was recovered in the Marriott Hotel.
A mother remembers
Athletic and a lover of the outdoors, George Cain ran marathons, camped, golfed and skied with gusto. In fact, he had moved to Colorado for four years so he could ski, said his mother, Rosemary Cain.
Single, he was devoted to his two nephews, then 11 and 5, and his niece, then 8. He taught the two oldest to ski and enjoyed bringing them to the fire house for July Fourth and Christmas parties, his mother said.
“We have such happy, wonderful memories,” she said. “He was a fun guy.”
Days after Sept. 11, Rosemary Cain said she felt drawn to Ground Zero and signed up as a Salvation Army volunteer. “It was something I had to do,” she said. “It gave me purpose.”
The day she began as a volunteer — New Year’s Eve 2002 — was the day her son’s remains were recovered. She worked there until the tents were closed about six months later.
Speaking of the recovery workers, she said: “I know firsthand the respect bestowed on all the victims by these guys digging through hell.”
She continues to work at the site. Since 2005, she has been a volunteer tour guide at the Tribute WTC Visitor Center. She tells people about her son and gives each person a prayer card with his smiling picture on it.
“I embraced the opportunity to tell his story,” she said. “He was a vital, happy person and I want him remembered that way.”
-- Ridgely Ochs