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ASSE Honors the Victims of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks, Recall Massive Emergency Recovery Efforts

Posted in on Wed, Sep 7, 2011

DES PLAINES, IL (September 7, 2011) –  In memory of the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) members who lost their lives that day,  ASSE  set up two memorial scholarship funds that have  helped 15 students the past 10 years.

On September 14, 2001, the ASSE Foundation set up the ‘America Responds Memorial Scholarship’ to award a $1,000 scholarship  each year to an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in occupational safety and health or a closely related field. The ASSE New York City Chapter alone donated $10,000 to this fund which also received donations from members, non-members, chapters and corporations from around the world in memory of the fallen ASSE members.

The eight ASSE members who died on 9/11/01 in the World Trade Center attacks were: Robert Ferris, CSP, P.E., of AON, Garden City, NY, Metropolitan New York Chapter, ASSE member since 1964; Alan Friedlander, CSP, P.E., ARM, CPCU,  of AON, Yorktown Heights, NY, Metropolitan New York Chapter, member since 1992; Salvatore Gitto, CSP, P.E., of Marsh, Manalapan, NJ, New Jersey Chapter, member since 1993; William Moskal, of Marsh, Brecksville, OH, Northern Ohio/Western Pennsylvania Chapter; Lars Qualben, CSP, of Marsh, New York, NY, Metropolitan New York Chapter, member since 1980; Roger Raswieler, CSP, of Marsh, Flemington, NJ, New Jersey Chapter, member since 1973; George Strauch, of AON, Avon By The Sea, NJ, New Jersey Chapter, member since 1991; and, Harry Taback, P.E., of Marsh, Staten Island, NY, Metropolitan New York Chapter, member since 1991.

The first recipient of the ‘America Responds’ scholarship, Frank Disori, noted when he received his award in 2003, “This is a real honor for me because until I saw the presentation about 9/11 and the World Trade Center clean up at ASSE’s annual meeting last year (2002), I was unaware of the large number of ASSE members who were involved in the massive rescue and clean-up efforts. I take this as a major compliment.” Disori was a student at Millersville University in Millersville, PA when he received his award.

Other winners of the ‘America Responds’ scholarship are: 2011—Wade Baily of Indiana University of PA; 2010 – Bethany Holyoak, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology; 2009 – Benjamin Jon Mollman, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology; 2008- Ryan Kiley, Millersville University; 2007 – Jacqueline Harvey, Slippery Rock University; 2006 – Nicholas Anthony Borsa, Indiana University of PA; 2005 – Christopher Skipper, Millersville University; and, 2004 – Eric Kerns, Marshall University.

In 2005 Harry Taback’s three daughters, Tracy, Cheryl and Lori, donated $23,000 to create the ‘Harry Taback 9/11 Memorial Scholarship Fund’. This fund awards a $1,000 scholarship each year to a student pursuing a degree in occupational safety and health. Taback, an executive vice president in risk control strategy and managing regional director for Marsh and McLennan, helped the ASSE Foundation establish one of its first corporate scholarships through Marsh.

Scott Merrell, attending Millersville University, received the first ‘Harry Taback 9/11 Memorial Scholarship’ in 2006 followed by 2007 – Julie Pendergrass, Millersville University; 2008 – Megan Karie, Oakland University; 2009 – Patrick T. Karl, Slippery Rock University; 2010 – Tyler Bean, Slippery Rock University; and, 2011 – Julie Barbaro, Oakland University.

The ASSE foundation just announced its call for applications for the 2012 scholarships and grants which can be found at

As for 9/11, following the terrorist attacks ASSE members from around the world worked at Ground Zero for weeks in the rescue and clean-up operations. ASSE members Jeffrey W. Vincoli, CSP, CHCM,  Norman H. Black, CSP, and Stewart C. Burkhammer, P.E., CSP, headed to Ground Zero within hours of the first plane hitting the towers to set up a ‘Ground Zero Safety, Health and Environmental’ team. The team worked side by side with state, city and federal officials. They saw firsthand the destruction.

“Throughout the days, nights and weeks at the WTC, we saw indescribable horror, massive devastation, chaos and extreme tragedy shown on the faces of the families and friends of the victims and on rescue workers,” said one in 2001.

“Never in my long safety career could I have anticipated I would be witness to the massive devastation and horror of this tragic event,” Vincoli said in May of 2002. “I am proud to say that at least 30 rescue workers’ lives were saved as a direct result of our team’s involvement at Ground Zero.”

“Two things will remain in my mind forever from my work at Ground Zero,” Burkhammer said in 2002. “First, the strong resolve of Americans and the thousands of everyday people who would line up and cheer us as we left the site each day – many handing us flowers, water and ribbons of thanks. Second, the pain, the anguish and sorrow on the faces of the many friends we made while working in New York. They lost friends, co-workers, colleagues and family in the disaster, yet they continued to do their jobs in a very professional manner. This is real courage.”

Founded in 1911 in New York City, the 100-year-old Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the oldest safety society and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its more than 34,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor and education. For more information please go to


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