Wayne Saloman’s family couldn't know the photo of him from July 28, 2001 — cradling his just-christened nephew, Jonathan, in Hicksville — would be the last.
The Salomans all but forgot about the picture until 46 days later, after a plane crashed into Wayne’s office building — the World Trade Center's north tower, where he was a vice president of the stock and bond trading firm Cantor Fitzgerald — and the family needed a missing-person photo on Sept. 12, recalled his brother Jay, now 57.
Wayne Saloman was killed in the 9/11 attacks. He was 43.
The attack killed more than two-thirds of Cantor Fitzgerald's workforce: 658 out of 960 people.
That nephew is now 20, and on Saturday he joined his dad and Jay’s other son, Jared, 16, to place flowers at the 9/11 memorial where Wayne Saloman’s name is one of nearly 3,000 etched in bronze.
Jay Saloman has been at every anniversary memorial for the past 19 years. He commiserates with others whose loved ones perished that day.
"You’re down here with everybody that’s in the same boat — you lost either a sibling, or a husband or a wife, or a daughter, or a son, mother, father," said Saloman, a CPA.
Other times at the reflecting pool memorial, it’s mostly tourists or others who haven’t been through what the Salomans have. But on 9/11 anniversaries, there are hundreds who have.
"You’re here, and you’re talking to other people, and they’re talking about their loved one, and you see how your loved one was similar to their loved one," Saloman said, just after the public recitation of his brother’s name from the lectern.
Every year since the memorial has been open, Saloman has made the sign of the cross, kissed his fingers and run his hand over his brother’s name in bronze.
As for that last photo, it almost didn’t happen. Wayne Saloman had been doing the photography at the christening party, which was at a Hicksville restaurant that isn’t around anymore, and Jay Saloman cajoled his brother into posing for just one pic.
"We wanted a picture of him as well with Jonathan, and I just handed Jonathan to him," Jay Saloman said.
Wayne Saloman smiled. His brother took the photo — on film; this was a time before digital-photo ubiquity — "and that was the last picture we had of Wayne."