The Silent Door

Name of Hero: David Arce

Hero City: New York City

Submitted by: Luis Torres

I had the privilege of being neighbors with David Arce a NYC Firefighter in Manhattan NY.
David was a single man I’m guessing in his early 30’s. Lived on my floor and I would have brief chats or quick hellos when we crossed paths or rode the elevator together. He kept in shape by jogging on his days off.

One night I bumped into him on the street as he approached our building on E14th Street after what I assume was a softball game. He carried a bat and other baseball gear. Not knowing him very well I decided to tease him about not being a real ballplayer. As I walked away he looked at me eyes wide open, smiling trying to come up with a response to someone he hardly knew.

It occurred to me at that moment that he was just a kid, but a kid with huge responsibilities that come with being one of New York’s bravest.

A few days after the shock of personally witnessing one of the Towers crumble on that terrible day I thought of David. I asked my neighbors if they had seen him, but know no one had. I knocked on his door for the first time since he moved in hoping he would answer.

So David I’d like to thank you through this venue for your attempts while on duty. I just know you were flying up those stairs.

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