Gordon Aamoth Jr

Legacy of alumnus lost in 9/11 memorialized


Steven Nye

Aamoth’s name on the 9/11 memorial

Students walk past the Gordy Aamoth Jr. Memorial Stadium everyday after school. Members of the Blake community scream and whoop from the stands, cheering on teams during games. Fans gather there in all their blue and green for the homecoming game to embody Blake school spirit.

The Aamoth Stadium represents all that is Blake culture and pride, but how many people actually know the significance behind the very name? Who was Gordy Aamoth? Why does he have an entire stadium dedicated to his name? What is the huge, contorted  chunk of metal that lies in the patio next to the concession stand, littered in American flags and flower petals? Most importantly, what does it have to do with Blake?

Gordon Aamoth Jr. ‘88 was a pre-K lifer and an astounding member of the Blake community. As a captain of the football team and the hockey team, Aamoth cultivated a culture of respect that inspired his teammates.

This September marks the 16th annual anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, in which 2,977 Americans were killed. Among the victims was Blake’s very own Gordy Aamoth. Aamoth, an investment banker, was in an office firm in the south of the World Trade Center tower on the date of September 11th, 2001, announcing the largest, most successful merger deal of his career. He worked there daily.

Dion Crushshon ‘88, current teacher and one of Aamoth’s friends from high school, said that “When I was visiting Gordy in New York he took me to his office in the World Trade Center. He was on the 70th floor and his view was beautiful. It was one of those moments where he could be proud and I got to be his friend from home. It was a very nice goodbye.”

The attack ended his life at thirty-two years of age. Gordy Aamoth greatly exemplifies the very spirit of Blake–not only the pride and joy, but the faith, the strength, and the leadership that defines the community.

Former United States President Barack Obama, during his speech in 2016 on the 15th annual anniversary of 9/11, poses the essential questions: “how do we preserve the legacy of those we lost? How do we live up to their example? And how do we keep their spirit alive in our own hearts?”

It is Gordy’s legacy, undoubtedly, that shapes the common identities of Blake students living today, in 2017. It’s bigger than school spirit–it’s larger than homecoming games, it’s greater than Legacy Day–he embodies the fundamental terms of this community and the values that centralize it. In fond memory of Gordy Aamoth Jr., The Blake School created The Gordy Aamoth Jr. Memorial Stadium.

Crushshon explains that “The idea that the stadium is named after him is very appropriate, because he was very committed to his athletics.” Beside the stadium is Spirit Plaza: a 500 pound chunk of metal, a beam from the South Tower in which he died, donated to the Aamoth family by the city of New York.

The plaque upon it reads, “Spirit Plaza provides a tangible reminder of our nation’s collective strength and resolve. Though loved ones died and a nation was profoundly altered, our spirit remains intact. In the face of loss, we carry on; following destruction, we remember, and build anew.”