Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11 Tribute: Robert Wayne Hobson, III

A few weeks ago, I signed up for the 4th annual Project 2996, where over 3,000 bloggers join together to pay tribute to the victims of 9/11. I first heard about the project from Michelle Malkin, and didn't hesitate to join. Each blogger pledges to honor one of the 2996 people who lost their lives on that tragic day.

For me, choosing one person to honor was both simple and sad. Of the handful of people I knew who died on 9/11, the biggest loss was my brother-in-law, Wayne. Not a day goes by where we don't think about him, and miss him terribly. He brought out the best in all of us, and filled our family with laughter. This one's for you, Wayne.

Robert Wayne Hobson, III

Age: 36

Residence: Jersey City, NJ

Occupation: Broker, Cantor Fitzgerald

Location: World Trade Center, Tower 1, 105th Floor

What you won't find in any online tribute:

Wayne was not supposed to be there that day. At that point in his career, he was spending most of his time at the Cantor Fitzgerald offices in Houston, which made it that much more unbelievable that he was there on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. My sister, Cindy, worked in an office downtown that had a perfect view of the Twin Towers. She had spoken to her husband, Wayne, after his building was struck by the first plane. They were all scared, but he told Cindy, "Call my mother. Tell her I'm okay." After exchanging a few more brief, but personal, words, the phone call ended. That was the last time she spoke to him.

My sister wanted to run to the building to go and get him, or wait for him on the street to find him when he came out. Thank goodness, she had a quick-thinking boss who calmly took charge and led her out of the building, and out of the city. I was able to keep in touch with my sister as she made her way north, but never was our conversation more than a few seconds, because she wanted to be free to dial Wayne's number over and over again, hoping that the lines would open up and she would be able to talk to him again. I was able to phone Wayne's mother, Judith, who took up her post at Hobson's Choice, the bar Wayne and Cindy owned in Hoboken. Judith waited for her son, praying that he would walk through the door, grab a pint, and spend the evening regaling the crowd with another one of his great stories. I don't know when Judith left the bar...but he never came...

Wayne left behind a lot of friends and a family who loved him deeply. Wayne was the person you went to if you needed anything -- advice, a friend, a drink, a job, a car. Back in 1997, I got into a pretty bad car accident just a week before he married my sister. He was the first one who arrived on the scene, he took charge, and when it was all over, he handed me the keys to his Jeep. When I looked at him and said, "I can't take your car!" He replied, in all seriousness, "Why not?!?" because in Wayne's world, if someone needed a ride home, you gave her your car, of course! When someone asks me about Wayne, I tell them, he was the type of person that filled a room with his energy and sitting next to him was always the best seat in the house. I have yet to meet another man with his humor, energy and kindness.

I have no doubt that if there is a heaven, Wayne's running the bar and St. Peter is one of his best customers. It's always happy hour, the Redskins are always winning, and there's always a seat outside on the patio.

We miss you, Wayne.

We will never forget.

Read Wayne's Tribute on

Read Wayne's Memorial on


DD said...

Thank you for sharing him with us. Never Forget

Cathy said...

Thank you for sharing such a personal account.

Julie P. said...


What a beautiful and heartfelt tribute. You brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing. I can't imagine how difficult this was to write!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like the world lost a special person when you lost Wayne.
Thank you for sharing such a personal, heartfelt story. We will never forget Wayne or any of the others who had their lives stolen from them. We will never forget their families, either. Such a tragedy. I'm so sorry for your loss.


MommytoAJ said...

wow - not sure what to say. I'm in tears reading your post ... what a beautiful tribute ... he sounds like a wonderful man.


Stephanie said...

I am really sorry for your loss. Even though I didn't personally know anyone who died on September 11th, a lot of the Northern New Jersey towns lost people. It is a sad day in history.

Alicia said...

I'm so sorry for the loss your family has sustained. I know the pain doesn't go away; the gap cannot be filled. But I also know that the love endures. Thank you for this loving tribute to a life cut short.

I honor Christopher Paul Slattery.

Moms4SarahPalin said...

What a beautiful tribute..
May we never forget

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