Ten years ago today Daniel Thomas Afflitto was murdered for the crime of being an American trying to make a living to support his family.
This will be the last time I offer my tribute to Daniel, a man I never met but who was much loved and left behind a wife and children. He touched many lives and will live on in their memories.
However, ten years is long enough for a nation to adopt a posture of mourning. Our pathological response to what is more often publicly described as a tragedy, rather than the atrocity that it was, is a symptom of a societal, regressive, loss of confidence. That the Freedom Tower meant to replace the WTC has still not been completed 10 years after 9/11 is both a concrete metaphor of our cultural uncertainty and our societal Demosclerosis. It is well past time for us to put our tears behind us. Those who lost loved ones and dear friends and colleagues should shed their tears in private; our cultural self-flagellation disguised as national mourning is dysfunctional and regressive.
The response to a tragedy is often shock and tears; tragedies are traumatic by definition, and traumatized people are paralyzed by their feelings of helplessness, terror, and suppressed rage. The psychologically healthy response to an atrocity is rage, which is what fuels our resolve, against the perpetrators.
All social structures are compromises between the various rational and irrational trends in the summed human mind. For the last several years our timidity, disguised as Pacifistic hyper-morality, has been in the cultural ascendance. But we have indulged in grief long enough; it is time to use our aggression wisely (whether that means finishing the job of building the Freedom Tower, regaining our lost societal dynamism, or communicating through our actions that we will no longer roll over for the enemies of freedom, domestic or foreign.
So this is for you Thomas. You were a good man and a loving father and husband. You were stolen from us far too soon, but this must be my last tribute; future tributes are for your family and friends to offer, not for me:
This post was originally part of the 2996 project, put together by D. Challener Roe, "Dale", who wanted to find a way to honor all the ordinary (really, extraordinary) Americans who went to work the morning of 9/11/01 and never returned home. Dale describes the project:
2,996 is a tribute to the victims of 9/11.
On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers
will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11.
Each person will pay tribute to a single victim.
We will honor them by remembering their lives,
and not by remembering their murderers.
I pay tribute to Daniel Thomas Afflitto, a young man just beginning a family, bright, successful, funny, and in love with his life.
Daniel Thomas Afflitto was a 32 year old partner at Cantor Fitzgerald. He was working on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center North Tower on the morning of September 11, 2001. He was a bond trader, and as with most bond traders, was driven and extremely hard working. Many of the comments left about him on various sites commented on his good nature and wonderful sense of humor.
According to The Star-Ledger profile by Giovanna Fabiano:
On the morning of Sept. 11, after the first hijacked jetliner crashed into the building, Mr. Afflitto, director of listed equity trading, called his wife, Stacey, and told her there had been a bombing, said his father, Joseph Afflitto of Wayne.
"He told her, 'We've been bombed and I'm going to get out of here. I love you and give a kiss to my son for me,'" his father said. That was last time anyone heard from him.
A day or two days after 9/11, Danny's wife Stacey (who he had hired at Cantor-Fitzgerald; she left the firm when they began to date, in accord with the firm's policy prohibiting dating between co-workers) discovered she was pregnant with the couple's second child.
Daniel Thomas Afflitto loved and was loved.
Good-by Thomas; rest in peace.