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Derrick Washington's father, Ernest was my doorman when I lived down on Broad Street in the financial district. Ernest is the sweetest man in the world and was like a second father to me. Very warm. Very caring man. Always looking out for me. When Sept 11th happened I was still living in this building which was located across from the New York Stock Exchange. When I found out Ernest had lost his son Derrick, I was more than devastated. I almost felt like I couldn't breathe. In fact, I was so moved to tears every time I saw Ernest that I couldn't get up the courage to speak to him about what had happened because I was afraid I'd lose it. One day, I finally spoke to him and we had an exchange that I'll never forget. When you read Derrick's story of where he was that day, you ll get an idea of what I heard from his father. Bad things are not supposed to happen to great people.

Posted by Lisa S.

Derrick's dad worked in my apartment building when I lived 5 blocks from the WTC during 9-11. I was so saddened to hear of Ernest and his wife's loss of their son. It was so hard to come home after evacuating for 2 weeks - the memories of that day were haunting. Tears filled my eyes when I saw Ernest again. I still think of Ernest and his family often and hope their memories of Derrick somehow soften the tragedy.

Posted by Amy S.

We were to shut down the office in WTC that Derrick worked in during the Summer of 2001. The move was delayed. However Derrick so enjoyed his job, mostly the location on the 110th floor; "on top of the world" as he told me, that the delay was "fine" with him. He spoke of his family and enjoyed his job and his life. It was a terrible shock to me, but I know he was loved and will be remembered.

Posted by Daniel Poe

I worked for a Florida company that serviced Verizon’s network, so I spoke to Derrick 2-3 times a month. He was the first person I thought of when the towers fell. I always enjoyed talking to Derrick. We talked about our families - and he loved his family - but we never had a conversation without bantering back and forth about my Buccaneers, and his beloved Jets. A week or two before that tragic day, my 11 year old son was with me for “Take You Child to Work” day. Derrick was having trouble with the network, so I took his call and assisted him, as always. I often think of how he took a minute to actually have a conversation with my son, while he and I were troubleshooting his problem with the network. After the call, my son said, “He seems like a nice guy.” I wholeheartedly agreed. Though I never met him face-to-face, I always pictured Derrick to be a guy with a big smile. After 9/11, I saw his picture in a Verizon memorial. My vision of Derrick was correct... a huge smile, and no doubt, a wonderful guy!

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