Nicholas Rowe and Craig Neil Gibson were both in the North Tower when the first plane collided with the buildings on 9/11.
Tuesday marks the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, where almost 3 000 people were killed during the worst terrorist atrocity in modern history.
It was a day that changed the world forever, leading to the now-infamous “War on Terror” which saw US forces invade Iraq, and carry out military operations in Afghanistan to find plot mastermind Osama Bin Laden.
Of the thousands who perished that day, two of them were South African: Nicholas Charles Alexander Rowe was 28 when he died, and Craig Neil Gibson was 37.
South Africans killed during 9/11
Nicholas Rowe, aged 28
Rowe was an engineer who worked for the software company Umevoice. They produce voice-recognition technology and were known for making some cutting-edge developments during the new millennium.
He was an attendee of Brakpan High School in Springs, Johannesburg. He had initially moved to Australia before relocating the US, which caused some confusion when he was confirmed dead. The Aussie foreign embassy “claimed” he was their citizen, whereas this was disputed by South Africa.
The New Jersey resident was set for a move to London within the next year and was on the 106th floor of the North Tower when tragedy struck. His online obituary (legacy.com) revealed what a warm, amiable guy he was:
“‘He was comfortable and confident and competent in virtually any business and social situation’, said Adiathia Padala, chief executive officer of Rowe’s employer, who continued: ‘He would walk into the room and get people to smile. It didn’t matter what kind of people they were.’”
Craig Gibson, aged 37
Craig Gibson was a reinsurance broker with Marsh and McLennan. He was another Mzansi-born victim who had previously lived in Australia. He was a massive soccer fan and followed Liverpool, while also playing for a local side in his adopted hometown of Manhattan.
Also operating from the North Tower on September 11th, his online obituary sums up his interests and what a kind-hearted family man he was to wife Danielle:
“Gibson had a number of keen interests, starting with soccer and continuing with the movies – he had to be the first to see a new release, and there had to be plenty of popcorn on hand – He also loved his wife, Dannielle, with whom he immigrated from Australia last December.”