As a part of Project 2996, I'm going to write to you about an individual I never met. I've never even heard his name. I only knew him as a part of a group: The people who perished on 9/11.
He was not a very imposing man, from his picture. I imagine you could pass him on the street and not think twice about it. Just like many of us. But, Dwight, if I may be so bold, had already lived through one World Trade Center attack before that fateful day.
He was there in 1993 when the WTC was bombed the first time. It made him a little jumpy. Sudden loud noises would startle him. For years, his wife, Veronica said, "Every time there was a bang, he would jump." But that did not deter him from returning to work.
Dwight was raising two sons, Kieran and Ryan, with his wife, living in Bronxville, N.Y., a little village about fifteen miles north of midtown Manhattan, home to about 6,500 people.
He was a Senior Attorney at the Port Authority of NY and NJ. He'd been with the Port Authority for 25 years. He was 55 at the time of the attack. A few years older than I was then. I few years younger than I am now.
He served on the parish board of the St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Bronxville. He loved opera. He and his wife were frequent attendees at performances at the Met and the City Opera. He was a member of the New York Athletic Club.
He had a brother, Keith T. Darcy of Pound Ridge, NY, and a sister, Joan D. Sorgi of Darien, CT. who survived him, as well as an aunt, Claire Menagh of Manhattan, an uncle, George Kindermann of New London, NH, and several nieces and nephews.
A family man, with familial ties to other families. Much like you and I.
Here's what another 2,996 blogger said about Dwight:
Dwight was a Bronx native, graduated from Fordham Prep, Fordham University, and the Fordham University School of Law. He began his legal career as an Assistant D.A. in the Bronx in 1971, and joined the Port Authority in 1977. While at the Port Authority, Dwight specialized in labor relations, serving for many years as the Head of the Labor Relations Division.
Dwight was very active in charitable works in New York City. He served as president of the Catholic Big Brothers of NY, as well as, the president of the Parish Council of St. Joseph's Church in Bronxville. Dwight was also voted a life member of the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of NY, and made an affiliate member of the Marist Brothers for his many years of service on the board of Mt. St. Michael Academy in the Bronx.
WHAT WAS DWIGHT LIKE?
"We kind of grew up together at the authority," said his friend and colleague Jeffery Green, the general counsel for the authority's legal team, made of up 75 lawyers. "He was very calm and logical and had a good sense of humor," Green said.
Outside of work, Darcy followed his favorite sports teams: The New York Yankees, the New York Giants and college basketball teams, Green said. "He was a devoted father and sports fan. He was a very big Yankee and Giants football fan. I would see him at the games."
Darcy had a way of winning people over. "Everyone who met him liked him. He took pride in his work and his family. He was a really good individual," Green said.
I received an email from someone who knew Dwight. They had this to say:
I first met Mr. Darcy in 1968. I was a Freshman at Mt. St. Michael Academy, a private Marist (Catholic) High School in the Bronx, NY. Although he had a Law degree, Dwight Darcy started his working life as an English teacher at the “Mount”. I had him for English 1 that year. I was very interested in history, and Mr. Darcy made it a point, during his lectures, to not only teach the fine points of English Grammar and Composition, but also expounded on American and World History, to which he added a large dose of Morals and Ethics. I was always fascinated by the breadth and depth of his knowledge, and made it a point to have discussions with him on these topics, even outside of class hours. He was an excellent role model, and I considered him an inspiration and mentor. He was a dynamic and dedicated teacher, and he had a profound effect on me. He is one of the few teachers I ever had, that I truly remember with fondness.
When I heard that he left teaching to practice law for the Port Authority, I knew that he was really following his true love, which he considered the true arena of human interaction. But I knew that future students would lose the opportunity to meet a truly remarkable person.
On 9-11, I was overwhelmingly heartbroken to learn that he did not survive the attack. It seemed like a horribly cruel injustice. Here was a man who was so kind, so dynamic, so profound, and so cognizant of the needs of others, who was caught up, with so many unfortunate others, in the effects of incredible madness and evil, and the result an overwhelming hatred of all mankind. I really could not believe it had actually happened. But I remember him with honor and respect, and with a deep sense of loss.
I hope this helps in illustrating the truly excellent person that he was.
Dwight went to work September 11th, 2001, like he had on many other mornings, I would imagine, not dreaming of the horror and chaos that would await him. He worked on the 66th floor of the North tower. According to a co-worker, he'd had surgery on his foot several weeks before and was still in a cast. It would have made it difficult for him to take the stairs to flee the building.
He died at the hands of terrorists who did not care that Dwight was president of the Catholic Big Brothers of NY, where he helped disadvantaged youths. They did not care about the grieving widow and sons he would leave behind. The brother and sister, aunt and uncle left with a sense of terrible loss. The friends and acquaintances who would miss his kind words and encouragement. His death was not meaningless, because there is still meaning even when evil men commit evil deeds. His death was tragic in that it cut him off from whatever productive years he had left , the communion he spent with family and friends and the good deeds he would have done had he lived.
And though I never met Mr. Darcy, I mourn for him and grieve with his family. The craven cowardice of those who would commit war by attacking defenseless civilians has not gone unavenged. Many of those who sowed the wind on 9/11 have reaped the whirlwind.
But, vengeance can never restore loss. What was taken from Dwight Darcy's family can never be replaced. Nor that of the 2,995 other families who lost loved ones on that day.
But, we can remember them. We can hold them in our hearts. And we can vow that so much as is in our power, it will never happen again.
Our hearts go out to the family of Dwight Darcy today. I hope that in some small way I have captured a bit of his essence to share. Our hearts are with you this day.
Rest in peace, Mr. Darcy.
"Profiles in Grief" of The New York Times
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A Step in the Right Direction