BROOMFIELD, Colo. (CBS4)– Thomas Faughnan finds his brother’s name inscribed in bronze on the 9/11 Memorial in Broomfield. It cannot be easy to see.
At 38, Christopher Faughnan was a man with a warm heart who loved his wife and three children and may have longed for Colorado as he worked as a bond broker on the 104th floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11.READ MORE: Colorado Polio Survivor Reflects On Life-Long Disease & COVID Vaccines Now
“That kind of tied him to New York for a while, but I think he always wanted to come back to Colorado. His wife Cathy was a native Coloradoan,” said Tom.
The family had moved to Colorado from the New York area when Christopher was about 12 or 13 Tom remembered. Chris was the sixth of eight children. Their father got a job working on the building of the Eisenhower Tunnel. Chris attended Arvada High and the University of Colorado, where he met his wife Cathy.
His father’s connections with a financial company in New York got him a shot at a job in New York and he jumped right in and starting moving up.
Eventually, he would end up working for Cantor Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center. It was the first tower struck on 9/11. Located on the floors above where American Airlines Flight 11 struck, not a single worker among 658 Cantor Fitzgerald employees survived.
“He had a very strong sense of trying to do the right thing,” Tom said about his brother’s character.
Chris’ wife would later share what she called Chris’ Rules of the Universe.
“I think it was rule number four was never walk past a piece of litter without picking it up,” remembered Tom. “His last two were like ride your bike and drink good wine.”
His brother’s sense of decency came out when he would pass a panhandler trying to sell books on the street.
“And he would often ask him, you know, have you read any of these books are they any good? Which ones would you recommend to me? Somebody that they might look down to. He looked at as another human being that needed a lift.”
In the early days after the attack, the family had its struggles like many. In a documentary just coming out titled, Finding Daylight, director/producer Bettina Moss tries to convey the stories of two families and their loss, among them the wife and children of Chris Faughnan.
“My friend came by, I just lost it, I’m like, ‘He’s gone. Oh my God, what am I going to do, I have three kids,’” related Chris’ wife Cathy. “It took a long time to start taking a few steps out of that.”READ MORE: Denver Cops, Sheriff's Deputies Lagging on Vaccinations; 'There Is A Lot Of Pushback" Says Deputy Safety Director
Cathy Faughnan was able to eventually re-marry. The three children are doing well in adulthood said Tom.
His youngest daughter Juliet relates in the documentary, “You just have to live your life in a way that you hope would make the people you lost proud.”
In the years since 9/11 some things have gotten easier says Tom. But it’s hard to understand the reasoning for the attack.
“If any of those hijackers knew these people, they certainly would not have done what they did… You can’t remain hateful towards people that were obviously misguided and were twisted in some way… I ask those same questions today when I hear a suicide bomber has gone to the middle of a crowded marketplace… how twisted do you have to be or how much as the propaganda and indoctrination in a person’s early life twisted a person’s mind to think that’s what they have to do?”
There have been things that have been negatives and positives over 20 years as Tom sees it.
“We’ve had wars in Afghanistan, we’ve had wars in Iraq, we’ve lost servicemen who basically we’ve propagated the same type of loss that we had on September 11 of those families of servicemen killed in action and obviously for many people in Afghanistan and Iraq, have lost you know, countless loved ones.”
Among the things that have helped, has been the sharing of stories of the people lost. The family has kept the stories of Chris’ life and memories alive.
“My niece was saying just the other day how she missed my brother Chris. And she wasn’t born when he was around, so they’ve done a pretty good job of keeping his memory alive,” said Tom.
Chris might be distressed if he saw a divided country today thought Tom.
“I think he would be upset with some of the deep divisions in some areas of the country and I think he would be someone that would try and work for some unity or middle ground for people.”
It’s just the kind of person Christopher Faughnan was. And Tom plans on sharing that at Saturday’s 9/11 remembrance at the memorial in Broomfield Community Park at 9 a.m.MORE NEWS: Colorado AG Report Finds Pattern Of Racially Biased Policing In Aurora
“There are so many more good things in the world than bad things. There’s always going to be evil in the world, it’s unavoidable. But there’s a lot more good here.”