Derrick Washington

Derrick Washington
World Trade Center

Love at 'Romeo and Juliet'

It was an unlikely romance. She lived way out on Long Island; he lived in Brooklyn. They went to different high schools and probably would never have otherwise met. But one magical day 15 years ago — a day neither of them would ever forget — each went on a class trip to Hofstra University to see a production of "Romeo and Juliet."

"I don't think I was paying attention to the play," said Keisha Washington, who fell in love with Derrick C. Washington that Monday: March 10, 1986, a day they continued to celebrate every year. They eventually married and had three children: Christopher, 13, Devin, 8, and Malik, 3.

A devoted husband, father and son, Mr. Washington, 33, enjoyed shopping for groceries and mowing the lawn with his sons. On a typical weekday, he would drive from his home in Calverton on Long Island, park at his mother's house in Brooklyn, and then continue by subway to his technician's job for Verizon on the 110th floor of 2 World Trade Center. Normally, he did not arrive at his office until 9 a.m. But on Sept. 10, Mr. Washington decided to sleep at his mother's house so he could help her install window blinds. The next morning he got to work early.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 7, 2001.

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