June 20, 2021

Mindy Kleinberg is the wife of Alan Kleinberg, who died at the age of 39 on Sept. 11.

Alan Kleinberg worked at Cantor Fitzgerald, 104th floor, WTC Tower One – the North Tower. Mindy and Alan lived in East Brunswick, New Jersey. She has been a co-chair of September 11th Advocates. 

An obituary in the New York Times stated that “On Sept. 10 Alan David Kleinberg spent the evening at the Township Council in East Brunswick, N.J., urging it to move forward with a community skate park, a nod to his oldest son’s affection for in-line skating. The park proposal was a hot-button issue known to provoke emotions, but Mr. Kleinberg won respect as a negotiator and mediator who helped gain acceptance for the idea. 

Whether it was planning a trip for his wife, Mindy, coaching 10-year-old Jacob’s basketball team, taking his 7-year-old daughter, Lauren, to dance or a Saturday afternoon ice skating with the children, including 3-year-old Sam, ‘whatever was good in this world he took and gave to them,’ said Gail Rubin, his mother-in-law. On Oct. 15, the council endorsed a plan to build the skate park.”

An article in The Star-Ledger in Newark, NJ, reported “Mr. Kleinberg had only recently returned to the office, and was days away from transferring to Cantor Fitzgerald’s New Jersey offices in Shrewsbury. But on Sept. 11, the 39-year-old securities trader reported as usual to the firm’s 104th floor office in the World Trade Center. He never made his usual call home to his wife, Mindy. His tower took the first hit in the terror attack and Mr. Kleinberg…is unaccounted for. His family has searched for him in all the hospitals. They have pasted his picture all over Lower Manhattan – hundreds of copies of a photo meant for a happier purpose – Mr. Kleinberg’s 3-year-old son, Sam, needed a picture of Daddy to show at preschool.” She became a member of the Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Independent Commission.

On March 31, 2003, Mindy Kleinberg testified before the 9/11 Commission on the day of its first public hearing. Speaking to the Commissioners, she said “On the morning of September 11th my three-year-old son, Sam, and I walked Jacob 10, and Lauren, 7 to the bus stop at about 8:40 a.m. It was the fourth day of a new school year and you could still feel everyone’s excitement. It was such a beautiful day that Sam and I literally skipped home oblivious to what was happening in NYC. “At around 8:55 I was confirming play date plans for Sam with a friend when she said, ‘I can’t believe what I am watching on TV, a plane has just hit the World Trade Center.’ For some reason it did not register with me until a few minutes later when I calmly asked, ‘what building did you say?’ ‘Oh that’s Alan’s building I have to call you back.’ “There was no answer when I tried to reach him at the office. By now my house started filling with people–his mother, my parents, our sisters and friends. The seriousness of the situation was beginning to register. We spent the rest of the day calling hospitals, and the Red Cross and any place else we could think of to see if we could find him.

“I’ll never forget thinking all day long, ‘how am I going to tell Jacob and Lauren that their father was missing?’ They came home to a house filled with people but no Daddy. How were they going to be able to wait calmly for his return? What if he was really hurt? This was their hero, their king, their best friend, their father. The thoughts of that day replay over and over in our heads always wishing for a different outcome.”

“We are trying to learn to live with the pain. We will never forget where we were or how we felt on September 11th. But where was our government, its agencies, and institutions prior to and on the morning of September 11th? With regard to the 9/11 attacks, it has been said that the intelligence agencies have to be right 100% of the time and the terrorists only have to get lucky once. This explanation for the devastating attacks of September 11th, simple on its face, is wrong in its value. Because the 9/11 terrorists were not just lucky once: they were lucky over and over again.” 

Kleinberg gave examples of the ‘luck’ the terrorists had, given the lack of attention paid variously by the SEC, INS, FAA, NORAD, Airline and Airport Security, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and President George W Bush. 

She concluded “Is it luck that aberrant stock trades were not monitored? Is it luck when 15 visas are awarded based on incomplete forms? Is it luck when Airline Security screenings allow hijackers to board planes with box cutters and pepper spray? Is it luck when Emergency FAA and NORAD protocols are not followed? Is it luck when a national emergency is not reported to top government officials on a timely basis? To me luck is something that happens once. When you have this repeated pattern of broken protocols, broken laws, broken communication, one cannot still call it luck. If at some point we don’t look to hold the individuals accountable for not doing their jobs properly then how can we ever expect for terrorists not to get lucky again?”

On the 18th anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, Mindy Kleinberg, along with Family Steering Committee members Kristen Breitweiser and Lorie Van Auken, had a letter published in the New York Daily News. It included these comments: “How is it that nearly 20 years out from the 9/11 attacks that killed 3,000 innocent civilians in lower Manhattan and caused thousands to be sick and injured, not one person has been held openly accountable in a United States court of federal or state law?

“Why hasn’t the Southern District of New York, the U.S. Department of Justice, or even Manhattan DA Cy Vance brought any charges, let alone any successful indictments and prosecutions, against anyone who could be deemed a co-conspirator? When we say co-conspirator, we don’t mean just those being held at Guantanamo. We include everyone who either through their acts or omissions facilitated the attacks prior to 9/11, aggravated the damages on the day of, or covered up any portion of the attacks afterwards. Obviously, that could include many people — some of whom are in our own government and the governments of our “allies.”
They continued, “the real reason we will likely never see any legitimate trial has more to do with covering up the crime that was carried out by so many people in addition to those being held at Guantanamo. In truth, the Guantanamo detainees know plenty of damning information that very likely doesn’t gel with the “official” story the American public has been told about 9/11. This truth, if it ever came to light, is why we will never see any real justice for 9/11.”

Ray McGinnis

References:
Joan Whitlow, “Alan Kleinberg, 39, Office King of Comedy,” The Star-Ledger, Newark, NJ, November 28, 2001.
Alan David Kleinberg: Skatepark for a Son,” New York Times, December 6, 2001.
Statement of Mindy Kleinberg,” 9/11 Commission, March 31, 2003.
Readers Sound Off on the Lack of 9/11 Prosecutions, First Responder Dogs, and Football,” New York Daily News, September 11, 2019.