Tuesday, September 12, 2006

In Memory of Daniel M. Van Laere

~~~~ A 2996 - 9-11 Tribute ~~~~


In Memory of Daniel M. Van Laere (46) September 11, 2001

"You're only young once, but you can be immature forever"

One liner Daniel used - remembered by Elizabeth
Collins and her father. - Sept 12, 2002 - ...

Those who never had the opportunity to meet Daniel Van Laere during his sojourn on earth missed out on meeting an instant friend. I feel I have.

Growing up in Glen Rock N.J. He had a neighbor who was on the Glen Rock Volunteer Fire Dept. Daniel's brother, Paul said, "We grew up seeing Bobby Barton running off to fires all the time and I guess it just captured Dan's imagination. He loved the whole aspect of it - the trucks, the equipment, the potential of fighting fires and helping people."

At 18, Daniel Van Laere became a Glen Rock firefighter. Soon he was teaching rescue courses at the Bergen County Fire Academy.

His mother's house has a photo on the wall of a raging fire in a lumber yard. The picture shows Daniel Van Laere in the basket of a 60-foot boom atop a truck, feeding water down onto the flames.

Daniel Van Laere had risked his life for others as a firefighter for the Glen Rock Fire Department. That fateful day Daniel was not working as a fireman but as a risk analyst and underwriter at Aon Insurance. His office was on the 92nd floor of the South World Trade Center Tower The south tower was the second one to be hit. The hijacked airliner hit on the 78th through 84th floors. People working on higher floors than Daniel escaped because they saw people jumping from the north tower and left before the terrorists slammed their plane into the second building... About 1,400 people evacuated the upper floors before the second jet hit. Unfortunatly Daniel was not among them.

- I'm willing to believe that Daniel was helping others when the end came for him. He was that kind of person. -

Follows are some quotes from friends and relatives of Daniel's that can be found on 9-11 remembrance websites.


Dan was a wonderful and unique person. He could see things for what they were, and knew exactly how to take control of a situation without offending others.

He had a fine balance of qualities that were his greatest assets throughout his life. Dan was sincere, honest, kind and compassionate: all traits that drew people to him. He earned trust and loyalty from friends thru the actions he displayed. Dan was always there to lend support to his family, neighbors, business associates and
friends - he always made time to help, contributing his full attention.

Dan had two credos that he repeated often, both delivered with his own brand of humor.

"No good deed goes unpunished." which only goes to prove that he gave of himself to others without expectations.

"Peace at any price." This, Dan actually said, was his Father's line but Dan adopted it. Dan always chose his words and actions carefully because he was very much concerned with the feelings of others.

Dan believed in helping those in need, whether it was a neighbor in need of first aid, a friend in need of comfort, or a lost dog looking for its way home. If the cause was real, then, Dan would give his all to do what was right: he was pure of heart.

Dan left a lasting impression on his business associates as being a fun, compassionate person who added a little life and enjoyment to the office. Dan treated others as they themselves would like to be treated. He believed that with respect and encouragement, everyone could succeed.

From the fiancee of Daniel Van Laere -
Link to Legacy.com -


I have never looked at any of the world trade center sites before. As I read and cry I just wanted to say some things. Dan was and still is my "cool" uncle. I loved his sense of humor and going for trips in his camero (90's). He was laid back and fun to be around. He has two sisters, one brother, five nieces, and two newphews. He will always be in our memories. - Amanda Wiley - 2006-04-28 -
Link to 9-11heroes.us -


I officially met Dan during an interview for RBH insurance co. That was about 10 years ago. I don't know if you could even call that an interview. Dan was soo easy going that he made me feel so calm and even began his joking with me during this interview. That was around 1991. From that moment, Dan and I became fast friends. We spent time in the office talking about friends and family and laughing. Just laughing. Dan always made me laugh. - Mary Anne Fielding -
...More to be found at -
Legacy.com page 3 -


I grew up with Danny. He was one of my brother's best friends. He and I were Groomsmen in my brothers wedding.

Even though I had not seen Danny in a number of years, I have been affected deeply by his passing.

To those who didn't know Danny, there is so much I could tell you, anecdotes, examples of his character, but it still would not truly convey what a special guy he was.

Danny was real. He was honest. He had an incredible sense of humor. He was generous. He helped people without a second's hesitation. I have many memories of him hearing the fire siren, dropping eveything he was doing and driving to the firestation. Not
only did he help people, but he was low key about it. He wasn't doing it for glory, he just did it because it had to be done. He loved his dogs, his boat, and his family. - John Barillo -
...More to be found at -
Legacy.com page 2 -

~~ ~~ ~~ end of quotes ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~

From what I've learned of Daniel Van Laere I'm confident he would not want those who know him and love him to grieve long nor hard.

My prayer is that Daniel's family and indeed all the families of those
lost on 9-11 find the peace that surpasses all understanding. May the
Living God guard their hearts and minds from interminable grief that
would try to handicap them through the rest of their journey on this
planet. - May the Lord Jesus bless them with grace and mercy and fill
their hearts with love and laughter. May time lessen the hurt and in
the future may they share with others the comfort they receive.
- In Jesus' name - - - Amen.

Update - Blogs to visit for more tributes:

Huffington Compost

Blue Star Chronicles
I'm Thinking of the 'O' Word
Okie on the Lam got on board too late to join the 2996 posts but he was worked his typing fingers to the bone to make up for it. He has a lot of links to a lot of tribute posts...
As does AubreyJ

Please check the names and links in the comments. Lots of wonderful people in this world that took some time out to show that it was lives that mattered most in the 9-11 attrocity... - GBYAY - Paul -

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