As a senior vice president for Aon Risk Services, Samuel Salvo worked on the 105th floor of Tower 2. He last spoke to his wife, Gladys, about 8:30 a.m., right after the first plane hit Tower 1 and before the second aircraft slammed into Tower 2.
I said to him, "A plane just hit the World Trade Center. Are you going to get out?" He said, "I don't know."
A lifelong resident of Westchester, Salvo graduated from White Plains High School. He was the father of two grown children—David, of Brewster, and Susan of Yonkers. His sister, Pamela Salvo, lives in White Plains.
"He was a firm believer that you get out of life what you put into it," Gladys Salvo said.
After reading through messages left in the family's guest book, it's apparent that Samuel put a lot into his life and was rewarded with a wonderful loving family, and many friends. Samuel was the kind of man who made a difference, who touched peoples lives just by being who he was. Those who crossed his path remember him with love and the highest regard.
From the family's Veterinarian:
Dear Gladys and the entire Salvo family,
I was so sorry to hear of the loss of Sam. Of all my fond memories from Central Animal Hospital, I especially cherish the time I spent taking care of U.B. and Dallas. I was amazed and inspired by your love for your dogs and your commitment to U.B. throughout her battle with cancer. Gladys, I have never known people more dedicated to their animals than you and Sam. You were there with U.B. day after day for months, seeing that she got the care she needed. And because of your love, she had so much more time to be a part of your family. I wish all dogs were fortunate enough to belong to a family like yours. I still have the letter you sent me after U.B. passed away, and her picture is above my desk as a constant reminder of love, loyalty and the strength of the human-animal bond. Your family has endured so much pain and loss, and I grieve for all of you. I think of you often and pray for you. Please know that even as time goes on, Sam is not forgotten.
From someone who worked in a restaurant he patronized:
He was a frequent patron at a restaurant I worked at. A true gentleman that I always enjoyed seeing. Someone who you just gravitated towards. Always kind and gracious. Whenever you heard the laughter you knew it was coming from Sam's table. God love you and keep you in his arms always.
From an acquaintance:
Sam was a sweetheart. A big man yes, but also with a big heart and smile. I was never uncomfortable with Sam. He put everyone at ease.
While researching Samuel, I came across an email address for Samuel's widow, Gladys. I wrote to her about the 2,996 tribute, inviting her to share some of her thoughts with me. I also asked her what she thought her husband would have said about the events of that day.
She very graciously sent this reply:
Sam Salvo was a man who could be described in many different ways by many different people. He was a hard working father and husband while at the same time a fun loving boisterous friend and colleague. Sammy played a few different roles in his 59 years on this earth. Somehow, he kept it all together and knew who he was and which Sam to be at every moment.
Sammy loved his Stoli on the rocks and loved good food and fine restaurants.
Sammy had his soft side too. He doted on our dogs, Dallas, U.B. and Amber. They were his babies who went for a ride on the weekends.
When we retired at night the dogs were on the bed as well.
Sammy was senior vice president for Aon Risk Services on the 105th floor of tower II. He was a hard worker who climbed to the top of his field.
He was a firm believer in working hard and believed that you get out of life what you put into it.
We would be celebrating our 36th this December.
Our family consists of David who is 34, his wife Danielle, sons Zachary 4. Matthew 2, our daughter Susan who is 32. He would have loved his grandsons and had fun playing with them. It is too bad he could not be here to hug and kiss them. His memory is kept alive from his photos and the boys call him "Papa Sam" who is up in heaven. We always talked about our future grandchildren and how we would spoil them.
I think Sammy would say a lot of things about 9/11 but mostly that it was his time to go. There is a reason for everything that happens to us.
He was brutally taken from our family in such a horrific way. An act of pure evil from a group of people who hate the freedom the United States stands for.
Hope this helps,
Samuel R. Salvo was the best kind of man. He was an honest man, a man of integrity, a hard worker who valued what was important in life. He loved his home and family, his friends, he loved his dogs, and I suspect he loved his country. Samuel R. Salvo was the kind of man that makes our nation great. He may longer be with us, but his spirit lives on; not only with his family and those who knew and loved him, but also as part of the great American tapestry of freedom. May he rest in peace; he will not be forgotten.
Image published with the permission of United in Memory
Project 2,996 is dedicated to remembering the victims of 9/11. On September 11, 2006, volunteer bloggers joined together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11. Four years later, we remain committed to honoring the victims by remembering their lives, and not by remembering their murderers. Never Forget! Click here to read all 2,996 tributes.(Cross posted on Babalú)