By Albert Samaha
By Darwin BondGraham
By Keegan Hamilton
By Anna Merlan
By Anna Merlan
By Tessa Stuart
By Tessa Stuart
By Albert Samaha
There is a woman with long blond hair and denim overalls holding a flyer with someone's picture on it. She is standing in front of the Wall of Prayers at Bellevue Hospital, where families have taped up many of these flyers, hoping to find their missing loved ones. But the woman has the flyer turned over. She holds a pen in her hand. She moves up and down the wall, writing down names. Every so often, she makes a sound. "Oh my God," she says, seeing one familiar face. She moves on. "No," she says. She writes down a name. She shakes her head. She sees another and groans, writes down the name. And another. So many names.
Flyers for the missing paper our city, taped onto bus shelters, telephone poles, storefronts. Much of the information on them is basic: weight, eye color, hair color. But they hold another sort of information, too, details so intimate that only someone who had explored your body would know them, someone who had held you in their arms, memorized every inch of your skin. She had a scar from a Caesarean section. He had a tattoo of Tweetie Bird on his right buttock. She had a birthmark on her inner right thigh. Mole on left side of collarbone. Superman tattoo on left ankle. Birthmark on left inside forearm. Tattoo on left breast reading "Baby Devil."
By official estimate, New York has lost more than 5000 people. It may be weeks before all the names can be gathered. What follows are the stories of people listed as missing or killed in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, with whatever information was available. Debris and sorrow cloak the details. We have included what we could.
MISSING: Daniel Lugo
Daniel Lugo, 45, traveled from his home on Dyckman Street in Upper Manhattan to his job as a security guard in the north building of the World Trade Center for more than two years. His shift had recently switched from nights to days.
We've been to all the hospitals. All the numbers are busy. I understand that so many people are missing, but tell us something. Waiting and not knowing is worse. I'm holding on. I don't know how long I can hold on. I just keep saying, 'Where can he be? Where can he be?' "
MISSING: Uncle Lee
Written on a street memorial, New York City: "For Uncle Lee. 90th floor, 2nd building. Did you make it? Still don't know. We all cried for you today. I wait by the phone run run run faster please please you are strong just keep running. I hope you're safe."
MISSING: Khalid Shahid
Khalid Shahid, 25, was overjoyed when he was hired as a systems administrator for eSpeed.com, the online trading division of Cantor Fitzgerald, in January. "He said it was the best move he ever made," recalled his sister Fatima. "He loved his job, he loved computers. It was everything that he wanted." An avid skier and tennis player, Shahid, who resided with his parents and younger brother and sister in Union, New Jersey, was engaged to be married this March. He and his fiancée just purchased a home in Mount Olive. "He was the sweetest person," said Fatima of her outgoing, Muslim brother, who sported a goatee. "He didn't have a bad bone in his body."
MISSING: Raul Hernandez
Two weeks ago, Raul Hernandez went to Seven Lakes, in New Jersey, for a few days of fun with his siblings and their children. His sister Gladys saw him once again, a week later. Now she's looking for her lost brother, age 50. "He works for Cantor Fitzgerald," she said. "He is a security guard. His badge was 01261." The family at first thought he was in tower one, then tower two. "We are confused; we don't know if it's 97th or 84th or 107th floor. We don't know if he was checking all the floors. We know he was in the building at 6 a.m. He's supposed to go in at six."
Like so many families of the missing, she is caught between present tense and past. "Raul was very quiet, very loving person, never talked about nobody, used to help anybody he could help. He didn't think twice to help somebody," she said. "If he knew he was going to get hurt to help somebody, he would do it. Everybody is upset. His nephews are praying for him, and they loved him a lot and to please come home."
MISSING: Sareve Dukat
A tax conferee for the State of New York, Sareve Dukat, 53, called her family from her office on the 87th floor of tower two after the first plane crash. Dukat, of Manhattan, told her family she was OK and would stay at her desk.
Brooke Rosenbaum, 31, was a supervisor in the overseas division of Cantor Fitzgerald. He was a voracious reader and an enthusiastic music fan who had lately developed a passion for DVDs. He is survived by his mother, Dorothy Burke, of West Palm Beach, Florida; his only sibling, his brother Peter, died of congestive heart failure in 1998, also at 31. "He was an enchanting young man," said his mother, to whom he was very close. She last visited him on Labor Day weekend and wanted everyone to know that "he never said a bad word about anyone."