By Brenda Fike
Ledger Managing Editor
Unusual phenomenons happen all the time, but this particular one has traveled thousands of miles involving a woman from Mexico and a man from New York.
A few weeks ago, while sorting through the miscellaneous cage at the Handi-Shop Seconds To Go resale store, a staff member found a bracelet that looked like copper with a name of a New York firefighter on it.
She took it to Tammy Hultz, store manager, who began to do some research on it.
After extensive research on the internet, Hultz found out the name on the bracelet was that of a firefighter who lost his life in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
The bracelet was engraved with the firefighter's name Dennis P. O'Berg and his ladder number 105 on the front. On the end of the bracelet was engraved 911.
In her research Hultz found out the firefighter’s father's name was also Dennis. She found the elder O'Berg on Facebook and sent him a private message.
She told him how and where the bracelet was discovered. "He had never seen the bracelet before," Hultz stated. "He also had never heard of Mexico, Missouri," she said smiling.
She gave him her phone number and he called her on October 4. Hultz asked him if he would like to have the bracelet and he said he definitely wanted it.
It is a mystery how the bracelet showed up thousands of miles from New York.
In a phone interview with The Ledger, O'Berg, who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., said it was interesting, but he had no idea where the bracelet came from. He does have a silver bracelet, but has not seen one that is out of the copper-like material. He said months after 911, people began to sell T-shirts, and other items, but he isn't sure that is where it came from.
He said it was a surprise when Hultz got in touch with him. "I was shocked," he said.
O'Berg believes the discovery of the bracelet is another way his son is letting him know he is still around.
O'Berg believes people do get signs from someone who has passed on. He said things have happened over the past years that he believes are no coincidence. "We have gotten signs," he simply said.
His son's body was never recovered, but the O'Bergs have a tombstone and a casket with a lock of his hair from his first haircut buried. O'berg and his wife, were on their way to the cemetery to put flowers out for the son's birthday which is July 31. On the way, his wife received a phone call. "No one calls her but our daughter or myself," O'Berg said. She does get an occasional telemarketer call. She has a flip phone and when she opened it to see who was calling she immediately shut it. When O'Berg asked her what was wrong, she said the area code was 731, the same as their son's birthday.
Another incident happened last week when O'Berg brought a lottery ticket while in New Jersey. O'Berg said he very rarely played the lottery, but he bought a pick three number for the evening drawing on October 5 using 105, his son's ladder number. O’Berg won $129. "I have never won before," he said. "I just said thank you Dennis."
Firefighter Dennis P. O'Berg was 28 at the time of his death. He had been a firefighter for only 7 1/2 months. His father said he was in the South Tower and nobody in his company survived.
O'Berg, a firefighter himself for 31 years, was also on duty during the attacks. He was a lieutenant and along with his men were on their way to the South Tower and were minutes away from it when it collapsed. "Some of my men were banged up, but survived," he said.
O'Berg said even after 16 years, there are times when he expects his son to walk through the door. "It still seems unreal," he said.
Hultz mailed the bracelet on Friday.