Dr. Nussbaum, You Will Be Missed
First off, welcome back (Kevin Boyle) as Editor of The Wave. These are challenging times for Rockaway once again, and I know The Wave will cover these issues with accuracy and professionalism.
My Dad, Dr. Morton Nussbaum passed away on January 19th. He was a Rockaway resident and professional more than 48 years. He was very much loved by all in the community. He cared for people of all faiths, color and beliefs, and treated them all the same, with respect.
He said “Good Morning” to anyone he encountered each day, whether he knew them or not; he was a true gentlemen. This was reciprocated during his many months of suffering, as many from this community sent their well wishes, and visited him in the hospital and rehabilitation centers.
On the morning of November 12th, 2001, he was eating breakfast at home and witnessed the moment of impact as flight 587 crashed into the homes of his neighbors.
After getting my sister and her infant triplets (who were living in the house that year) to safety, he went across the street to an elderly neighbor whose home was partially on fire, to make sure she got out ok.
The next day my Dad and I were speaking about what else we could do. I was already working on the site on behalf of the City, but we wanted to do more to bring hope to this devastated community who was still reeling from 9/11.
My Dad, being a very patriotic guy, had an American flag flying in front of his house since 9/11. We took the flag to the crash site, and I along with a firefighter and Red Cross worker secured the flag to a broken pipe from one the homes. I have since seen photos that captured that moment.
It was a small gesture, but it made my Dad and I feel that this flag that had flown since 9/11 would create a little bit of hope that we would rise again from this tragedy.
Of course recently we all faced adversity again with Sandy. My Dad’s office burned to the ground in the conflagration that destroyed blocks of Rockaway Beach Boulevard on the night of the storm, and his home, as with most in Rockaway was badly damaged. But we will rise again.
We now have this Gentle Giant at GD’s side looking over us, and this beautiful community will return better than before. I want to thank the entire community for their expressions of condolence, and for being there for him and my Mom during this trying time.