Eric Andrew Lehrfeld

Eric Andrew Lehrfeld2,996. The number seems so large. The devastation wrought on 9/11/01 can be difficult to digest. Numbers like that are beyond comprehension. Nearly three-thousand people, who were going about their daily business, just like you and me, had their lives cut short. I can’t tell you about all of them, but I can tell you about one man. His name was Eric Andrew Lehrfeld.

Eric Lehrfeld was the son of Daniel and Lynn Lehrfeld. He was an alumnus of New York University. He married the former Hayley Schwartz on August 9, 1998. Mrs. Lehrfeld recalled, “We met in the winter of 1996 at a Jewish singles party at the Roxy, on West 18th Street. We loved to talk about the day we met.” They were the parents of Laura Elizabeth Lehrfeld, who was 17 1/2 months old on 9/11/01.

Eric had a passion for comic books. “He had the largest collection I have ever seen,” said John Tabbone, Mr. Lehrfeld’s best friend. “He had thousands and thousands.” In Eric’s Guest Book, John Tabbone wrote,

I keep saying to myself: Eric, where are you… He was my pal, my best man. Husband, father, friend, colleague and classmate. He did them all really well…Made me want to do them better. Eric…Where are you?

Mrs. Lehrfeld said that a perfect day for Eric would go something like this: “It’s Saturday. Pick up the paper. Go to the farmers’ market, pick up produce. Bring it back to me to cook it while he was reading his comic books. And then he would eat it all.”

Friend Oliver Pacifico remembered,

Eric was a good friend of mine during our high school days at Clarkstown North High School. It seemed like only yesterday that we were playing poker in his basement with Pete, Adam, John, etc. As a matter of fact, I think I still owe Eric some money from a bluff gone wrong. We lost touch sometime during our college years.

On September 11, 2002 I was on the computer scrolling through the names of the people who were lost a year ago. There were so many names and I was scrolling through so fast it was all a blur and yet… the name Eric Andrew Lehrfeld stood out as clear as that terrible day a year ago. “It couldn’t be,” I thought to myself. Then I saw the caption after his name, “Comic Collector.” It was then I knew. I scrolled down to see his picture and saw his face. I was immediately transported back in time to his basement years ago during that last poker hand when he called my bluff. “Fork it over,” he said. “I’ll catch you the next time,” I responded.

A year ago I lived in Battery Park City and walked right through the World Trade Center at 8:30am on my way to work. I wish I had run into Eric that morning. We would have talked about what had happened to us during the past few years and laughed about the good times we had in high school. I’m sure he would have brought up the fact that I owed him twenty bucks from that last poker hand years ago. We’d carry on long enough for him to be late to that meeting he had.

I wish I could have given Eric his twenty bucks that day.

Eric’s sister Elyse wrote in 2004,

Eric is my big brother and the best brother anyone could have ever hoped for. Words cannot describe the sadness and sense of loss I feel everyday, but I am so thankful for every moment of the 28 1/2 years we did have together. Athough 3 years have passed since the last time I saw his face, he lives in my heart and is a part of my life in everything I do and see. Eric, wherever you are, I know you are looking down at us (from the comic you are reading right now) and can feel how much we all love and miss you. Your amazing daughter grows more and more beautiful and intelligent everyday and it is amazing to watch as her sense of humor, her expressions and her sense of love for family and friends grows to mirror her Daddy’s. Eric, I love you always.

Eric Lehrfeld Statue

Eric’s memory was honored with a statue in the library of Little Tor Elementary School, which Eric attended as a child. Library officials noted, “He loved to read and will forever be remembered in our school.” In 2003 the SPIE Global Homeland Security Technical Group created an award in memory of Eric, whose father serves on their executive committee. “This award commemorates Eric’s life and reminds and stimulates us all to apply our technology to better secure our homelands.”

Eric was Director of Business Development for Random Walk Computing. He was attending a conference on the 106th floor of the North Tower at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. COO of Random Walk Jim Lowe said, “Eric was not only instrumental to Random Walk’s success over the years, but was also a close friend. We will miss Eric on every level, personal and professional.” Random Walk established a charitable fund to help pay for Laura Lehrfeld’s college expenses. To make a donation in Eric’s memory, please contact Random Walk at (212) 480-5820.

At one event in tribute to fallen Americans, CNN reported:

Near the rubble of the World Trade Center, 18-month-old Laura Lehrfeld lit the first candle of a menorah. A similar ceremony will take place each of the next seven nights of Hanukkah. Laura’s father, Eric Lehrfeld, was at a breakfast conference at the top of Tower 1 when a hijacked airliner struck the building.

In an e-mail to the author, Eric’s sister Elyse said,

Even though 5 years have passed, the pain doesn’t go away and we all miss him terribly. Eric was an amazing, brilliant, handsome, thoughtful and caring Husband, Father, Son, Grandson, Brother and most important Friend. As recent as this weekend we have received messages from people whose lives were touched by Eric at some point in their lives, letting us know how much they miss him and all the good he brought to their lives.

Whenever I look at his daughter I can see him shining through reminding us that a part of him is still here with us and lives through her every day. Even though they only got to spend 17 short months together, she knows just how special her Daddy Eric is and knows that he lives always and forever in her heart.

Lest we think the passage of time lessens the loss we feel, consider the words Eric’s mother wrote three years after his passing: “As each day goes by, I miss him more and more.”

Eric Lehrfeld Tribute

Yeetgadal v’ yeetkadash sh’mey rabbah
Amein
B’almah dee v’rah kheer’utey.
v’ yamleekh malkhutei,b’chahyeykhohn, uv’ yohmeykhohn,
uv’chahyei d’chohl beyt yisrael,
ba’agalah u’veez’man kareev, v’eemru: Amein.
Amein. Y’hey sh’met rabbah m’varach l’alam u’l’almey almahyah.
Y’hey sh’met rabbah m’varach l’alam u’l’almey almahyah.
Yeet’barakh, v’ yeesh’tabach, v’ yeetpa’ar, v’ yeetrohmam, v’ yeet’nasei,
v’ yeet’hadar, v’ yeet’aleh, v’ yeet’halal sh’mey d’kudshah b’reekh hoo
b’reekh hoo
L’eylah meen kohl beerkhatah v’sheeratah,
toosh’b’chatah v’nechematah, da’ameeran b’al’mah, v’eemru: Amein
Amein.
Y’hei shlamah rabbah meen sh’mahyah,v’chahyeem
aleynu v’al kohl yisrael, v’eemru: Amein
Amein.
Oseh shalom beem’roh’mahv, hoo ya’aseh shalom,
aleynu v’al kohl yisrael v’eemru: Amein
Amein.

United in Memory: Memorial Quilt Square for Eric Lehrfeld

Visit Eric Andrew Lehrfeld’s Memorial at Remember: September 11, 2001 and sign his Guest Book. Visit Eric Andrew Lehrfeld’s tribute at September 11, 2001 Victims and leave your comments.

2,996

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23 thoughts on “Eric Andrew Lehrfeld

  1. Dana, this is a Beautiful tribute. I am so thankful this project introduced me to you as well. My husband is an avid comic book collector and has been his whole life…. I cannot tell you how many white boxes (the long special made boxes to store and file comic books) we have. AS I read more and more about the lives of those who died, I can't help but be hit by the fact that we are all so much alike. Thank you so much.

  2. Nicely done Dana – this person was someone real and someone who was held dear by many and this came across beautifully here – thank u for introducing him to me

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  4. A wonderful tribute. Mine is to a firefighter from Rescue 5, Lt. Michael Russo. It's nice to have names and stories and faces, not just numbers for these very real people, isn't it?

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  8. Thank you for making Eric so much more than a name on a memorial wall for me. What a beautiful soul. I loved the impish grin in the first picture. I hope that his daughter will be able to read such a loving tribute when she is old enough to do so.

    I remembered Susan Clyne and Jon Schlissel.

  9. Dana, wonderful people like you remind us that there are unique and special individuals all around us who form the fabric of life, especially in a big city like NY. What we have grieved for the last 5 years isn't missing buildings . . . it is the people, affection, routines and shared experiences that make up our lives.

  10. I just want to say that I appreciate everyone leaving comments, but I don't feel like I am in any way special or good or worthy of your compliments. I did not do this because I wanted to feel good about myself. I did this because I want people to remember, and I felt obligated to do this. Eric was a special person — a beloved husband, father, son, brother, and friend. It was a personal honor to write this. I didn't honor him. I was the one who was honored. I am not saying this very well, but basically I appreciate the kind words, but I am just doing some small thing, and I hope that it was a fitting tribute to a wonderful man.

  11. Dana,

    Thank you for honoring Eric with this…excellent work.

    I wish I could have done one for somebody, but I was away for the last four weeks and would not have been able to do it justice.

    Do you know if there is a web site that collects links to all of the tributes? Was everyone on the list honored?

    Cheers — Randy

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  13. I am very sad to never have known him being that all lehrfelds are family. my heart goes out to his wife and daugther and family.i know that he is in heaven with all of our family that has passed on god bless

  14. I have accidentally come across Eric's name from time to time when typing my last name or that of a family member in an Internet search. Until yesterday I had not read in detail about Eric, and have found your tribute to be moving and admire your strength and courage in the face of such a loss.

    Having lived in Pentagon City, Virginia on 9/11 as the plane flew over my apartment building, past my window and into the Pentagon 2 blocks away, I need only to look to the sky for a daily reminder of the tragedy – - I can't imagine how hard it must be for you and yours. Again, I wish you and your family the best, and will often think of Eric when spending a few extra moments with my 17 month old son each night.

  15. I wrote Ryan privately, but I just wanted to clarify in public to anyone who reads this that I didn't know Eric in life. I wrote this as part of the 2996 September 11 tribute. I am certain, however, that he was an amazing person, and I won't forget him.

  16. Like some others who have posted here, I grew up with Eric. I have known him since the first grade. It was impossible not to like Eric. I remember the ugly blue suede Pumas with the white stripe that used wear, and how goofy I thought he was! Most of all, I remember his wit and sweetness. Years later, we somehow reconnected as adults in NYC and he even got a share in my ski house when we were in our early 20's. I remember how nice it was that Eric was still Eric…that sweet kid tapping his pencil on the desk like a maniac, yet who knew exactly what was going on in class no matter what. I remember he had such huge ideas..I pictured that when he was 60, he would still be wondering what he wanted to do when he grew up (in a good way!). So, from what I understand, it isn't a surprise that he was at some seminar on 9/11 (so I understand). I too saw his face while scrolling the many many pictures after 9/11. I too was shocked. Even though I hadn't seen him in many years, to this day I can't believe it and think about him often. It is incomprehensible that Eric isn't here with his goofy antics. I didn't know that he got married and had a baby. My heart goes out to his wife, family and friends. Please know that Eric was special and touched alot of people. He will never be forgotten.

    - Kara Duffy (formerly Levine)

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