On Sept. 11, 1979, David Berry probably woke up in Calhoun to Saltines and Dr. Pepper. On the same date in 1980, David Berry probably invited friends up to his room in Wright Hall for Sinatra and swing dancing. In 1991, Richard Lee probably went to football practice. Last year, Bradley Hoorn probably slept late, savoring the end of “Camp Yale.”
On Sept. 11, 2001, those four Yalies and five more woke up early and went to the World Trade Center. That morning, they probably straightened their ties, packed their lunches and kissed their children. They went downtown for breakfast, for meetings, for work.
By 10:29 a.m. their lives were likely over.
They were regular Yale alumni: successful businessmen and women with families, fiancees and old college roommates. In the primes and peaks of their lives, they were a standard eight in the Yale diaspora. They shared careers in finance and years of common college experience. Now, they also share a common fate.
They had lives ahead of them, success behind them, marriages, children, grandchildren to come.
Anyone who spotted them stepping into the elevator on the way to the 110th floor, or the 93rd, would have said they had it made.
Bennett Fisher ’66, an avid sailor and an economics major at Yale, was two years from retirement on the day of his final business meeting. Before his son left home, the two took a roadtrip from Greenwich to California, driving three thousand miles listening to rap music.
Richard Lee ’91 had married his college sweetheart. He was working his way up the financial ladder as a bond trader at Cantor Fitzgerald on the top floors of 1 World Trade Center. On his agenda for the month: his son Zachary’s second birthday.
David Berray ’84 was one of 113 whose lives ended over breakfast at Windows on the World that awful Tuesday morning. He was looking to move his family back to Millbrook, N.Y., the small town where he grew up. His 40th birthday party was just a month away.
Elizabeth Gregg GRD ’77, a portfolio manager at Fred Alger Management, worried about the length of her miniskirts at Yale. Last month, she was worried about beating the birds to the grapes in her garden.
David Berry ’80, a well-respected financial analyst and researcher, was back from his summer home in the Hamptons. He was studying market swings and the names of Pokemon characters for Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and for his young sons, respectively.
Christopher Murphy ’88, was a senior analyst at the same firm with two young children. He was a bungee jumper and a sailor. He had a mother who worried and bragged about him.
Bradley Hoorn ’01, a first-year research associate at Fred Alger Management in 1 World Trade Center, had just bought tickets home to see his parents. He had a fondness for bow ties.
Stacey Sanders ’98 was about to get engaged to another Yalie. She had aced the GMATs and was looking at business schools. She had already started shopping for wedding rings.
They were nine in more than six thousand, everymen of Yale alumni. And by Sept. 12, 2001, their lives were over.
— Rebecca Dana
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