Michael Desmond McCarthy is missing in the World Trade Center disaster.
Mike is the son of Bill and Margaret McCarthy, my neighbors in Huntington, N.Y. He also is a symbol of what we have lost in the World Trade Center disaster and an example of how almost everyone in New York has been touched by the tragedy.
Mike was an up-and-coming young currency trader with Carr Futures, formerly a subsidiary of Morgan Stanley & Co. He was in the Carr offices on the 92nd floor of the South Tower when the second airliner hit between the 89th and 93rd floors.
Knowing Mike, he would not have panicked if he survived the initial impact. He was a smart, fit, courageous young man who no doubt would have taken the time to help others escape.
Mike was a starting tight end and guard on the Huntington High School football team and was recruited to play football at the University of Buffalo.
He had joined Morgan Stanley after graduating and was sent to London four years ago, returning only at Easter. I last saw him on Labor Day, when we spoke briefly in the street, two neighbors talking casually, and he told me how much he was enjoying his job.
One of many
There were thousands like Mike in the World Trade Center, young men and women working for firms such as Cantor Fitzgerald LP, Morgan Stanley and many others, who represented part of the future of the financial industry. Some of them survived, but many apparently did not.
As I watched the disaster unfold on television, I had forgotten that Mike worked in the World Trade Center until my wife called me to remind me. It was with even greater horror then that I watched the South Tower collapse.
And I began to remember others I knew who worked in the World Trade Center, such as Anne Tatlock, chairman and chief executive officer of Fiduciary Trust Co. International, Bill Yun, its president, and Henry Johnson, its senior vice president. The offices of Fiduciary Trust were on the 94th through 97th floors. Had they and their employees made it out? I wondered.
Ms. Tatlock, I later learned, was at a conference in Omaha, Neb., when the building collapsed. Mr. Johnson also was traveling on business, and Mr. Yun also survived. They now must mourn colleagues and friends and begin rebuilding Fiduciary Trust.
A lucky one
Other friends and acquaintances worked in the twin towers, and I never knew it. I learned Wednesday night, for example, that a member of a choir I sing with worked there.
He survived because he caught a cold from his young daughter and, not feeling well, took a later-than-usual train to work and was on the subway down to his office when the planes hit the buildings.
I am sure that over the next few days or weeks I will learn of others. Some will have survived. Others will be among the victims.
I suspect the list may be long, because as I drove into my train station early Wednesday morning, I was stunned by the number of cars that clearly had been in the parking lot all night.
Perhaps some of the owners of those cars had decided to stay in the city Tuesday night rather than take the irregular train service. But some of those cars still were there Thursday morning. I fear the owners of some will not be returning home. I fear I will know some of them.