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September 11, 2013

Remembering Colleen Ann Meehan Barkow

by Anne Paddock

My prayer for today is that you will remember Colleen’s smile, that it will dry our tears and ease the eternal pain and anguish we are feeling … We hope you are in a better place, and we will love forever in our hearts, which remain broken.

Thomas J. Meehan III, father

On September 11, 2001, 26-year old Colleen Ann Meehan Barkow perished in the World Trader Center when the North Tower collapsed after being hit by a Boeing 767 jetliner one hour and 42 minutes beforehand. Married less than a year to Daniel Barkow, Colleen would have celebrated her first wedding anniversary on September 17, 2001, the day her remains were found at Ground Zero. She was also a daughter, sister, stepmother, and a young woman about to embark on the next chapter of her life.

colleen BarkowBorn in 1975 in Carteret, New Jersey, a small borough in the central eastern part of the state, Colleen graduated from Bishop Ahr High School in Edison and attended St. John’s University on Staten Island.  At 21, she started working for Cantor Fitzgerald and by 2001, Colleen was a Project Manager for the company where she had recently overseen the construction of the company’s cafeteria from her office on the 103rd floor of the north tower.

Colleen and Daniel purchased property in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania where they designed and built a new home for themselves and Daniel’s two daughters, ages 12 and 9.  The weekend before 9-11, Colleen went shopping with her mother for curtains, linens, and towels as the young family planned to move into the new house by the end of October. She never had a chance for when the plane hit between the 93rd and 99th floors, all stairwells and elevators were rendered impassable, trapping Colleen and more than 1,300 other human beings on the floors above.

Colleen Ann Meehan Barkow would be 38 years old today and would probably also be a mother, had she lived. It’s been 12 years since Colleen Barkow’s life was cut short and her family and friends have not forgotten her smile. The rest of the world needs to remember her, too.

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