Friday, August 14, 2015

A Life Interrupted

There is a Land of the Living
And a Land of the Dead,
And the Bridge is Love, 
The only Survival, the only Meaning.
- Thornton Wilder

Colleen Ann Meehan Barkow packed a whole lot of living into the tragically brief twenty-six years of life that she was permitted to live.  On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, she was in her office at Cantor Fitzgerald - where she had worked for the previous five years - on the 103rd floor of the North Tower when the Twin Towers were attacked.  She was a Project Manager at Cantor Fitzgerald.  Among the projects with which she was involved was the construction of the firm's cafeteria.  I did not know her but based upon that information alone, I suspect I would have been a very big fan.  

Mrs. Barkow was the daughter of Thomas Meehan, III and Jo Ann Meehan.  She grew up in Carteret, New Jersey and graduated from the same high school that my two kids list as their Alma mater:  Bishop Ahr High School in Edison, New Jersey.  Less than one year prior to her death, the former Colleen Ann Meehan, had married her husband Dan Barkow.  When they married, she became not only his wife but also the stepmother to his two daughters, Crystal Marie and Kayla Ann.  She and Dan were less than three weeks away from moving into their dream house, which they had constructed on a wooded lot in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains.  

Dan Barkow and Colleen Ann Meehan married on September 17, 2000.  They were cheated out of the chance to celebrate even a single wedding anniversary.  In a way however, they were together on September 17, 2001.  For it was on that day - of all days - that rescue workers recovered Colleen's body.  

September 11, 2015 shall mark the fourteenth anniversary of the date on which his little girl was taken from Thomas Meehan III.  Time has passed.  Memories have not faded.  Love has not abated.  Last year, as he marked the thirteenth anniversary of his daughter's murder, Mr. Meehan wrote this simple, eloquent tribute: 


Mr. Daryl Meehan, brother of Colleen, who was volunteer reader of names on the 10th Anniversary. It took great courage to read 20 names, and remember your sister with love and affection.

Mrs. JoAnn Meehan, mother of Colleen, who was a volunteer reader of names in 2012, to whom I owe so much, we continue to share this sad journey, and dry each other’s tears. You are the tower of strength of this family.

The uniformed services who gave so much that day, and in the hours, days, months and years that followed, we owe a debt which we can never repay.

The men and women who went to war, who have made the ultimate sacrifice, we owe a debt we can never repay, they are in our prayers always, to those who serve today, know too, that you are in our prayers as well, God Bless you all .

With Great Love and Affection

Thomas J. Meehan III, Father of Colleen Ann Meehan Barkow, 
Age 26, WTC “We Will Never Forget” 

-AK 

1 comment:

Judith Pack said...

26 years old...so unfair. We will not forget all that was lost that day.