Avremel (Abe) Zelmanowitz was 55, and an observant Jew. His friend and collegue Ed Beyea was forty-two. Both worked at Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield as program analysts on the 27th floor of One World Trade Center. Ed was a quadriplegic who became disabled after a diving accident at age twenty-one. Avremel and Ed had worked together for twelve years. They traded books and tapes and played chess together. Avremel was a master carpenter; he built Ed a cigar stand and a book stand so that he would be able to read in bed.
Rather than join the thousands fleeing the the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the terror attack, Avremel Zelmanowitz chose to stay with his friend Ed. They waited together for a medical team to aid in Ed's evacuation. The team never arrived.
From his sister in law Chavie Zelmanowitz (sister-in-law), as told to Bayla Sheva Brenner
"He didn’t stay to die; he stayed to help. That was his intention. It was a friendship that culminated with this extraordinary act."
From Israel National News
"In the days that followed, as the two families searched for information about Avremel and Ed, the media learned about Avremel's selfless act, and the story began to spread all over the world. President Bush, in his national prayer address to the American people, referred to Avremel's act of loving kindness as one of the many "eloquent acts of sacrifice" that were demonstrated by Americans during this crisis. Avremel's family received letters from people all over the world who were moved and inspired by his love and loyalty to his friend. The most poignant were letters from disabled people and/or their caretakers. One woman wrote, "Do you realize what a miracle Abe was for his coworker? Loneliness and fear can't exist if you share love with someone."