Dianne T. Signer

signer.dianneToday 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.

– Austin

10 thoughts on “Dianne T. Signer

  1. Frank Parisi says:

    Jon: Nicely done — and worth the effort. Note that ALGER ran a quarter page ad in today’s WSJ (Page C3) listing every lost employee’s name under the head: “We Remember”.

  2. The horror is still fresh, and the root cause of the tragedy is still growing.

    Certitude. Self-righteousness. The certainty that my way is right, and that those who don’t agree with me are not just wrong, but bad. Sinners, infidels, evil.

    The certitude and self-righteousness grows internationally and in our country. I am a carrier of this disease.

    One of the appealing human traits of Barack Obama is that he doesn’t demonize people who don’t agree with him, sometimes to the dismay of those of us on the left who are so certain our way is right. There’s a lesson there that’s hard to learn, but on this day the lesson is worth thinking about, trying to take inside. It’s about making room for all.

    Peace and security don’t come from ensuring that everybody thinks the same way. I’m going to spend some time contemplating that.

    Thanks, Jon.

  3. Ellen Mrja says:

    In April President Obama named Sept. 11th a National Day of Service and Remembrance. In honor of that, students in my communications campaign class held a food drive and donation on the MSU mall today. They raised $$ and 182 pounds of non-perishables for our local food shelf.

    Tying in the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, with service every year from now on is a meaningful way to remember and honor those lost on that date.

  4. D R Lunsford says:

    I would have liked to have known her.

    I think Ms. Signer is the “red haired girl” waving from the 94th floor at the edge of the large hole made by Flight 11. The place where she worked on the 93rd floor was relatively protected from the impact, and apparently she made her way up through the rubble to the floor above and her refuge of fresh air. She has become somewhat famous in this way. Later the same woman was seen to cross herself and leap from the building,and so was captured on camera by Richard Drew of AP. She is, along with “The Falling Man” Jonathan Briley, a tragic icon of the day. God rest her soul.

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