Delray Beach man builds bench to honor friend killed in 9/11 terror attacks

Schuhmann rests on the memorial bench for his friend who died in the 9/11 attacks in New York City.

Last month, the Crime & Safety blog asked readers to share what 9/11 means to them.

Readers responded, and their stories will be posted here, individually and in coming days, until the 10th anniversary on Sunday.

Paul Schuhmann of Delray Beach met Paul “Talts” Talty when they were 10. Their friendship tightened during their years at South Side Senior High School in Rockville Centre, New York and at their after school jobs on a golf course. 

Paul Schuhmann (third from left) and Paul Talty (second from left), at Schuhmann's wedding in 1999. Photo: Jim Rassol, Sun Sentinel, courtesy Paul Schuhmann.

Schuhmann worked in sales in South Florida, and Talty worked in construction before he joined the New York Police Department, in a unit that responded to crisis situations, Schuhmann said.

“What happened on 9/11 is a process that everyone will have to work through in their own way,” Schuhmann said. “The events that unfolded that day and the lives that were changed forever will never be forgotten, especially for those who were touched personally by these events.

 ”My friend Paul Talty was killed that awful day, as several from my hometown were,” Schuhmann said. “Paul would visit me here in Delray Beach, and mentioned several times that he would retire to Florida when the time came to do so.  

“A year or two after 9/11, my siblings and I arranged to have a bench in his honor placed on A1A and Atlantic Avenue, in Delray Beach.  It rests about twenty steps south of the American flag on the east side of A1A.  It stands as a reminder, that he gave his life in helping others and that he made a big difference in the lives of so many.

“We made sure a part of him retired to Florida. I miss my friend and think of him and his family often,” said  Schuhmann, who will spend Sunday with his own family. He has planted small flags at Talty’s bench. 

“People need to know that life as you know it is fleeting, and things can change in a blink of an eye as it did for so many that day,” he said. “May God bless all of those families who lost a loved one and may they find the strength and resolve to move forward.”