It is rare to have such a national event happen in a small town as ours. This took an act of Congress, and was signed by President Obama on August 3rd. On hand was Congressman Barney Frank, whose office was instrumental in getting this honor bestowed upon Mr. Rothberg and his family. Senator Scott Brown send his representative as he had a number of other 9/11 related events to attend. Also in attendence were many state and town officials, and about 150-200 residents. Here are some photos of the event. I apologize, something wasn't quite right with my Blackberry so the photos are not optimal.
I want to thank Iris Rothberg for emailing Jay Rothberg's speech about their son, Michael. Here it is:
I’d like to add my welcome to everyone who’s here. Today I’m going to tell you about Michael.
But before I do, I’d like to tell you how the renaming of the Sharon Post office came to be.
To my knowledge, post offices had been previously named for military personnel until we got an e mail from Senator Martinez from Florida. In the email we read that a post office had been renamed for a 9/11 victim. So we thought now that there was a precedent, we would attempt to have the Sharon Post office named for Michael. BUT, Where to begin?
Our first and best thought was to contact Dave Clifton. Dave, Sharon’s former recreation director who was more like the Mayor of Sharon, said let’s go see Barney Frank. We called Barney’s office on a Thursday and he met with us the following Monday. He told us “Get the okay from the Town” and I’ll get it done.
Shortly thereafter we set up a meeting with Ben Puritz, Sharon’s Town administrator, Joe Roach, chairmen of the Board of selectmen, William Heitin and Richard Powell. This group backed us 100 percent and we were on our way. The entire Massachusetts Delegation joined Barney in co-sponsoring the legislation. Senators Brown and Kerry brought the legislation through the Senate. On August 3rd of this year the bill authorizing the United States Post Office in Sharon Massachusetts to be renamed as the Michael C. Rothberg Post Office was signed into law by the President.
Finally, in dealing with Town Officials and Barney’s office, we found no red tape, just sincerity and willingness to get this done.
There is always someone behind the scenes getting things done and that’s Dotty in Barney Frank’s office.
From the Rothberg family, we offer our sincerest thanks to all who participated in making this happen.
Now I’d like to tell you about Michael:
My wife, Iris and I moved to Sharon to raise our family in this quiet, peaceful community when our son Michael was two years old. It was 1964, but standing here in front of the Sharon Post Office today, it feels very much as it did back then: Timeless.
Our daughter Rhonda was born the following year, and we lived here happily. We made lifelong friends and we were grateful for the fine education our children received in Sharon.
Michael and Rhonda went to East Elementary, the Wilbur School, junior high school and Sharon High.
Michael graduated in 1980 and went on to McGill University for his bachelors and masters degrees in math and computer science.
Our son Michael had many gifts....He was a devoted son and grandson, a loving brother and a loyal friend. He excelled in his position on Wall Street and was always there to give a helping hand to those in need. He did this in his own quiet, unassuming way. Michael was the leader of his team at Cantor Fitzgerald but he never referred to himself as the boss… his guys were his colleagues. Michael’s integrity was evident in the people he hired…They were like Michael, down to earth, kind, generous and easy going. Michael always stood up for what he believed was right.
The only gift that Michael did not have was the gift of time. He was taken from us nine years ago, today on Sept. 11, 2001 when he was only 39 years old.
But Michael spent his 39 years wisely, using every precious minute he had to make a difference to his parents, his sister, his friends, and to mankind.
It's not the amount of time that we have on this earth, but how we spend our time that counts. We try to hold on to this thought as we think of Michael and the ways he made a difference by giving of his time, energy and resources to his favorite charitable causes such as the Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s Jimmy Fund, The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation and Mutual Funds against cancer.
On September 11, 2001, Michael was working for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center when he, his colleagues and almost 3,000 other innocent lives were lost. This National tragedy affected all of us. Soon after, some of Michael’s classmates and friends reached out to us with the idea of creating a scholarship in Michael’s memory. Once the scholarship fund was established, it initially awarded scholarships to deserving college bound seniors. As the scholarship fund grew, it provided athletic scholarships, beach stickers, summer activities and summer camp.
All of the scholarships that are awarded go exclusively to Sharon residents.
Michael was always ready to lend a helping hand to his friends and family every way he could and he never wanted any credit or recognition for any of this. He was unassuming and frankly, I think he’d be embarrassed by all this attention given to him. But Michael is our hero and will always be our hero. What better way to honor our hero, our son Michael, than by naming the Sharon Post Office The Michael C. Rothberg Post Office.
The Patriot Ledger picked up the story here:
WCVB has a video here: http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/24968721/detail.html
Here is the Bill: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h5099ih.txt.pdf
Other Massachusetts Victims: http://www.southofboston.net/specialreports/sept11anniv/pages/victims.shtm