2,996 – Honoring the Victims (Josh Piver)

September 11, 2006 at 12:01 am (Uncategorized)

While it is not quite the anniversary of 9/11 yet, I think this blog memorial chain deserves more than one big day. So it will remain at the top of my blog until next week. New posts will be directly underneath (if I can figure that out).

Josh Michael Piver, 23 of Stonington, CT
1 World Trade Center

I know we all remember that morning of 9/11. My first thoughts went to my sister-in-law, a flight attendant. A quick phone call to her confirmed that she was home in AZ and safe. Then to my second cousin who worked for Oppenheimer Funds. Although she worked from Texas she was frequently in the NY office in the WTC. By afternoon I had received word that she was safe in Texas.

A few days later I spoke with my best friend Kristen. Her husband’s cousin, Joshua Piver, was at work on the 105th floor of 1 World Trade Center when American Airlines Flight 11 hit the north tower. This is his story.
Joshua M. Piver spent his summers on the water, working at a boat yard in his hometown of Stonington, Conn., and sailing and kayaking every chance he got. His mother, Susan, remembers she first took Josh down to the water when he was two weeks old.

“He loved to go to the beach,” she says. “We started the kids when they were babies going down to the point in Stonington Borough. They took lessons at the point 9 o’clock in the morning in the freezing cold water, but they went. They knew how to swim.

When he was older, “he had a kayak. And he used to go from Stonington harbor out to Watch Hill to ride the waves.”

Josh loved his friends, baseball, soccer and the party afterward.

As his grandfather, Edmund Piver put it, “He used to like to go partyin’. He knew where the girls were, and he knew where the beer was.”

“We got a Dalmatian,” Susan recalls. “He always wanted a Dalmatian. He’d walk it on the leash and say it was a chick magnet.” She laughs. “It would always attract all the girls.”

Throughout his years at Stonington High School , Josh was “a normal kid” who got into the usual scrapes with the law that kids that age get into.

“He was a good student,” Susan says. “He liked to have fun, but he did well in school. When he was playing soccer, once he got caught smoking out in the parking lot …”

His mother remembers getting a couple of calls from the local police, once when Josh got picked up for raising hell at the Wadawanuck Yacht Club, another time when he and a friend tried to buy liquor, “things like that.”

In high school and college his interests expanded to include funk and jazz — The Meters, Grover Washington Jr., Grant Green — and cooking.

“He was a gourmet cook,” his sister Erika says.

“When he was younger, he didn’t want anything but pizza, but when he got older, he didn’t want anything but the best gourmet food, from scratch,” says Susan. “He’d come home and he would do the cooking. He loved to be in the kitchen.”

Robert Scala, a friend who first got to know Josh some as a child when his family summered in Stonington , says that what made Josh so popular was that “he was just very caring. He listened to people. He really cared about people.”

“Josh’s life for me was like a really good song,” says Scala. “It was the kind of song that you were movin’ to and shakin’, and you’re glad to hear it and you don’t know what it is. And all of a sudden somebody cuts the music, and you don’t understand why.”

“He had plenty of patience,” says his friend Michele Marsina. And he was as “honest as you have never seen anyone before. I could trust him with my life. I wish I could have saved his.”

His friends remember Josh as someone who stayed calm in all sorts of situations. “I’m the only person who ever caused him to lose his temper, and that’s because I was trying to,” said David Wilson, who met him in the fourth grade and went through the University of Vermont with him. Socializing with Josh was always deflating, he added: “He was tall, extremely good-looking, and girls never talked to me when he was around.”

When Josh went to the University of Vermont in 1996, Ed says, “He was going to be an environmentalist. Then all of a sudden he decided he was going to make money. He was going to make a million. So he changed majors and he took up economics.”

“He liked math,” Susan says. “He liked economics. He did well in it. He found out that he really enjoyed it.”

Josh graduated from college in 2000 and, at the age of 22, landed a job on Wall Street, trading pollution credits for Cantor Fitzgerald.

His family visited him there, and they say Josh was in love with the new life he’d just begun.

“He told me, ‘Grandpa, it’s awesome,’ ” says Ed. “He told me a couple times, ‘It’s awesome.’ ”

If you happen to find yourself in Stonington, CT and take time to visit Stonington Point find the small grassy area along the east side with a granite bench that remembers Josh. Sit and enjoy the view of the water that he loved so much.


University of Vermont Memorial

Joshua M. Piver: Loving New York Living – New York Times

Young And Full Of Life’s Joy And Optimism – Joshua M. Piver by Kenton Robinson

For memorial comments made about Josh, click here.

For other tributes please visit the 2,996 site.



  1. Kelley said,

    Well done, Julie. I know Josh and his family will be honored through this wonderful tribute. Thanks for helping us all remember the victims of 9/11 and for giving us a face and a story for one of the names.

  2. Auntie Lyn said,

    Thanks for this moving tribute to Josh. He sounds like the kind of guy that we all wish we had in our lives. I will be keeping Josh’s family and friends in my thoughts and prayers.
    Auntie Lyn

  3. Theresa said,

    Well done Julie! I will say a prayer for Josh and his family tonight. Mine is up too.

  4. Brian said,

    Thank you for a truely moving post about a life cut short far too soon. This is the first tribute post I have read where someone knew the victim.

    I did not know the person, Gilbert, who I have posted about, but I learned much. Please visit when you have time to read my post and link to others.

  5. Eagle Lover said,

    Great tribute post. Mine is also up and has been for almost a week now. I too believe it deserved to be seen more than just one day.

  6. Jenny said,

    I’m saying a prayer for Josh’s family today. He sounds like a wonderful person who is truly missed.
    Thanks Julie for telling us about him.

  7. Travel Guy said,

    Great to see that people are still remembering and truly going to “never forget.”

  8. Michelle Gochicoa said,

    On 11 September 2009 Lackland AFB had a silent 5k memorial run in remembrance to those who lost their lives eight years ago. I wore Josh Michael Piver’s name across my chest friday morning. During the entire run I couldn’t stop wondering things about Josh; how old was he? why was he at the WTC that morning? what kind of person was he? who did he leave behind? After reading many various things about him I feel honored to have worn his name across my uniform. His family and his loved ones are in my prayers and in my thoughts…

    A1C Gochicoa, Michelle

    • Chris said,

      Josh was my friend and upstairs neighbor in Brooklyn. One of my best memories of the time I spent in NYC was the Thanksgiving none of us at the 17th street apartment went home so we decided to cook a turkey and have our own Thanksgiving. Well our oven downstairs was too small so we went upstairs to Josh and Paul’s place to use their oven. Apparently we never actually turned the oven on so we ended up eating turkey dinner at about 1 in the morning. Josh was the kind of guy who could make me laugh even when things were going all wrong. I think of him often and think it’s great that even now people are still writing tributes. Chris

      • Julie Gumm said,


        Thanks from coming by and leaving your comment and letting everyone get an even better glimpse of Josh!

        Julie …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Author “Adopt Without Debt: Creative Ways to Cover the Cost of Adoption” http://www.adoptwithoutdebt.com

        Writer, speaker, orphan advocate

        Web: juliegumm.com Twitter: @JulieGumm Facebook: JulieGumm


  9. Susan Roberts said,

    Stonington Point is a favorite place of mine and my husbands. Last fall is the first time I noticed the memorial bench for Josh. It was so touching in this mystical place. All of the memories from 9/11 came back. I will never forget that day of 9/11. After our fall visit to the point, I couldn’t tell enough people about Josh’s memorial. When I think of Stonington Point, I now always think of Josh and his family. We visited this weekend again. This time I had to look Josh’s name up on the internet. So glad I did. Now I feel I know what a wonderful person he was and can make a connection when I pray for his family and friends, who really knew him. Sue R. August 21, 2011

  10. Donna said,

    September 11, 2012

    I just visited my son (who also has a degree in economics) and his wife in NYC and we visited the 9/11 memorial. I took a picture of Josh’s name and found this site. I felt I needed to remember someone specific and after reading about him I think there was a reason I chose his name. I remember him today on the anniversary and pray for the people who loved him.

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