Remembering 9/11 and My Friend Doug

Times may change, but memories are everlasting…

David B. Grinberg
4 min readSep 11, 2017


Like many native New Yorkers, I lost someone close to me on 9/11.

And even though it’s been many years since my childhood friend died during the terrorist attacks, I still think about him. I often wonder what might have been for a young life tragically cut short.

My friend Doug and I grew up together in Roslyn, a small town on Long Island’s North Shore. In fact, Doug was just one day older than me.

He worked for a financial services firm above the 100th floor of the World Trade Center’s south tower. Tragically, Doug was in his office when the planes hit and the towers fell.

Prior to that day from hell, Doug had big plans.

He had unexpectedly met his fiancée while commuting to work on the subway. In fact, Doug was engaged to be married in December of 2001. Doug and his fiancée had attended my wedding and I was looking forward to seeing them “tie the knot.”

While Doug’s future was bright, his wedding day never arrived. Instead, a memorial service was held in our hometown to honor his life and legacy — and mourn his untimely death.

Lucky at Love

The New York Times wrote the following about Doug in a tribute entitled, “Lucky Beyond the Odds”…

  • “Doug Jason Irgang had the kind of jaw-dropping luck that could win a lottery, or save a life. A financial trader, he was there when the trade center was bombed in 1993.”
  • “And he was on board the Long Island Rail Road train when Colin Ferguson went on a [shooting] rampage.”

“Mr. Irgang was even lucky in love.” — New York Times

  • “Riding the №4 train to work daily, he noticed that the same young woman was reading his newspaper over his shoulder. This being New York, they barely exchanged hellos.”
  • “Then one day, the woman scribbled her…



David B. Grinberg

Strategic communications consultant and writer covering social justice issues | prior spokesman at U.S. EEOC, OMB, and White House appointee | DC-based, NY-bred