Deborann DiMartino

Deborann DiMartino
World Trade Center

A Ribbon for Christmas

Sometimes Joe DiMartino finds himself studying last year's Christmas picture from Keefe, Bruyette & Woods at 2 World Trade Center, where his wife of 16 years, Deborann, worked as an assistant trader on the 89th floor. "It shows the whole trading department, and every one of them is now gone, except for the one girl who went in late that day," he said.

Mrs. DiMartino, 36, took the express bus to the World Trade Center each morning from their house on Staten Island; Mr. DiMartino drove over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge each night to the Pepsi-Cola plant in Brooklyn where he worked until dawn. The only time when their schedules coincided was the evening.

And so, together, they would help their 11- year-old, Danielle, with her homework, then get her and her sister, Samantha, 5, to bed. "I kissed Debbie good night that Monday night, and left for work," he said of Sept. 10. "Now I can't drive over the bridge because I can't look where those beautiful buildings were."

This year, the giant lighted mechanical Christmas display Mr. DiMartino used to install outside his house has been replaced "by one lonely yellow ribbon on the tree outside," he said. "A lot of kids are going to be disappointed."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 2, 2001.

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