Today marks the 8th anniversary of the death of Dianne T. Signer. She most likely would have celebrated her 40th birthday this past March if not for the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
I don’t know much about Ms. Signer; I only learned her name yesterday after reading about Project 2,996 in Bob Collin’s News Cut blog. Project 2,996 is an effort to remember the victims of the 9/11 attacks by recruiting bloggers to post something about each victim. I think it was Bob’s comment that only 1,082 names had been assigned on the eve of this 8th anniversary that made me sign up. The guy who runs the effort – Dale Challenger Roe – sent me her name.
Here’s what I’ve learned.
Ms. Signer worked on the 93rd floor of the North World Trade Center building at company called Fred Alger. She was 32 years old and was to be married that coming Saturday to Paul Mauceri, a carpenter who had known her for 14 years. She was from the Ridgewood section of Queens and was a parishioner at St. Pancras in Glendale. On the day of her wedding, the priest conducted a Mass for her before a packed church that was reported in a Jimmy Breslin column the next day.
I know Ms. Signer has some very loving cousins – Eddie, Rosa, Kayla and Brian Malone – who populate the web with tributes and memorials to her memory. A couple of her friends remember her laughter and kindness. A few days ago one of her cousins wrote that her mother is still hurting terribly from the loss of her daughter.
The City of New York renamed a street in Queens Dianne T. Signer Drive in 2003.
Ms. Signer was one of three parishioners of St. Pancras who died on 9/11 and one of 36 people in her firm who died. Her offices were just two floors below where American Airlines’ flight 11 crashed into the northern face of the building at about 466 miles per hour with about 10,000 gallons of jet fuel on board. In the list of 2,996 people who died in the attacks, her name is most often listed between Johanna Sigmund, who also worked at Fred Alger, and Gregory Sikorsky, a New York firefighter.
The world has moved on since 2001. School started at St. Pancras this past Wednesday and the youngest students there weren’t even born back then. Fred Alger lost most of their headquarters staff that day but rebuilt. The World Trade Center site is being rebuilt – albeit haltingly – as well. For those of us not directly involved in the attacks or their immediate aftermath, we note the day and we remember where we were when we heard and what we did and felt. For most of us, though, the raw edges of our emotions have been smoothed by the passage of time. And – for what it’s worth – I think that’s how it should be.
But we should never forget. I’m honored to do a little bit to help remember Dianne T. Signer.