Peter A. Apollo

World Trade Center

And Then They Were Silent

This had been a year of dizzying change for Peter A. Apollo. Last month he became a full-fledged securities trader at Cantor Fitzgerald. Two weeks ago his older sister, Denise, was married. Next Sunday he was to turn 27, and on Nov. 16, he and Debbie Johnson were to be married in West Orange, N.J. "He was having the time of his life," said his mother, Cecile Apollo. "He loved his friends, loved his job, and he loved Debbie."

Mrs. Apollo said she had found some solace in reports that her son died huddling with co-workers on the 104th floor of 2 World Trade Center. Employees in the company's Connecticut office had an open line through a "squawk box," and said thick smoke rising through the stairwells had prevented Mr. Apollo and his co-workers from fleeing. Long before the building collapsed, they told Mrs. Apollo, the voices faded and then ceased altogether. Mrs. Apollo said she believed her son died before the building fell.

"At least that's what I'm hoping," she said. "I'm trying to find comfort in the fact that he was with the people he loved."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 16, 2001.

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