Thomas Schell
Thomas Schell’s memorial was held 2 years ago soon after September 11, 2012. Thomas
Schell was a jewelry store owner. Thomas Schell was son of Thomas Schell Sr. and Mrs.
Schell Sr. He was a dear husband to Mrs. Schell, loving father to Oskar Schell. He is
missed by many and today is remembered by all. Thomas Schell died in the second twin
tower collapse at 10:28 AM. He called his son Oskar just before the collapse to tell him
he was okay, so it can be assumed his time came when the tower fell. His family has
understandably had a hard time dealing with his untimely death, see pg. ? (insert the
page number of the feature article below) for feature article on Oskar and Mrs. Schell.
Hans S. Burger
Hans Burger was a survivor of the Dresden fire bombing in WWII, Nazi, Germany. He
survived this bombing in which he lost all of his family and came to live in America.
Hans had one close friend here, Sheila Pears, who worked in Windows on the World in
the second tower. He was coming to visit Ms. Pears on September 11th, 2001. Mr.
Burger’s memorial service was soon after September 11th and today we remember him
again and the unfortunate loss of his life in the terrorist attack.
Recovering from the tragedy of 9/11: Behind the Scenes
“These last two years without Thomas have been very difficult on Oskar and I, and Oskar
needed a lot of help to get through his grief.” says Mrs. Schell when asked how her
family has dealt with the loss of a husband and father. Thomas Schell died in the second
tower collapse on September 11, 2001 at 10: 28 AM. Thomas called his son from the
towers, at 10:26 AM. Oskar tells me, “I’ve timed the message, and it’s one minute and
twenty-seven seconds. Which means it ended at 10:28. Which was when the building
came down. So maybe that’s how he died.”
Oskar was sent to a psychologist to help him through his loss. His psychologist,
Dr. Fein, tells me, “I’ve been seeing Oskar for the last two years, and for a while there I
thought we might have to take drastic measures, like institutionalization. However, this
past season he has shown a lot of improvement and I believe he will grow up to live a
happy, normal life.” Oskar’s mother believes in him as well, and she was a very large
part of Oskar’s recovery. Oskar and his father used to play a game where Thomas would
give Oskar clues and Oskar would solve them through a series of steps. After Thomas
died, Oskar didn’t have any more mysteries to solve, so his mother made a new one for
him. She let him find a vase and an envelope with the name Black on it, and a key inside.
Oskar then began his search to meet every person in New York City with the last name
Black. Oskar’s mom says, “He met a lot of people on his journey and I think it helped
bring him closer to his dad, and also further apart. I think this really helped him gain
closure and begin to move on with his life. We still have a lot to work on without
Thomas, but we’re taking it one day at a time.”
Thomas’s family has gone through a lot in the last two years in dealing with their
loss. This family was rocked by the tragedy of 9/11 like many others. The Schells dealt
with their loss in a unique way and I hope the very best for them.
Taryn Deirmenjian