Project 2,996 September 11th Tribute ~ Joshua Poptean

Please read about Project 2,996 here.

Bronx Builders: Status: This company is missing 3 workers who were attending a meeting
at Windows on the World. The missing workers are Manuel DaMota, Joshua
and Obdulio Ruiz-Diaz.

Joshua Poptean was originally from Romania and moved to Portland, Oregon, when he was a teenager.   Before  working as a project manager for Bronx Builders, Joshua served in the National Guard.  An article about him in the New York Times said that he came to New York and drove a cab while learning carpentry, that he was the first to jump up and sing the National Anthem at a family 4th of July celebration earlier in the summer, that he worked hard, that he was deeply religious. 

How do you help to preserve the memory of a person you've never met?  I think, just from reading what I could find on the internet, that Joshua would have liked to have been remembered for his faith, his devotion to his work, his fairness, his sense of humor, and his love and appreciation of both Romania and the US. 

A family friend said this about him: What I remember about him is
the information he had about our country. He knew all the information
that most Americans take for granted. He was from Romania and spoke all
the Romance languages. He could be very funny. And made us laugh many

The Time article says, too, that on September 11th, 2001, when most of the supervisors of Bronx Builders in other parts of the city were closing operations for the day, one of the men who worked for Joshua, also an immigrant to the US, said that he and his crew in Brooklyn would continue to work.  The article doesn't say that they did so in Joshua's honor, but I think that because he had a reputation for expecting the best from himself and other employees, it was just the natural thing for them to do. 

2 thoughts on “Project 2,996 September 11th Tribute ~ Joshua Poptean

  1. Laurie

    I did this as well. The more I read about my guys the more I wanted to say, but was challenged in the same way you were to appropriately recognize people I’d never met. They seemed like good people who did good work and were much loved and when it comes down to it I can’t imagine what is more worthwhile to say about anyone.


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