The bells finally tolled Saturday for Juan Lafuente, more than a month after his disappearance on the day of the World Trade Center attacks.
About 500 mourners passed through lines of police officers and firefighters into St. Mary's Church. They overflowed into the aisles for remembrances and prayers for the 61-year-old computer analyst, longtime Poughkeepsie resident, father of four and husband of the city's mayor.
"We are here to celebrate life and love," said the Rev. John Brinn, "the life and loves that were Juan Lafuente's."
Juan Lafuente's service came later than many for those missing after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
As his wife, Colette Lafuente, explained, he had no reason to be in the disaster zone that morning, and should have been blocks away, nearer his office at Citibank on Wall Street.
Her four adult daughters read aloud the 23rd Psalm and biblical passages from the books of Daniel and St. John. They recounted funny stories about their father and qualities they admire, including faithfulness.
Catherine Lafuente said her father should have emerged from the subway at Wall Street and Broadway about the time the first plane hit the North Tower on Sept. 11. They presume her father turned toward the catastrophe to try to help, not away and toward his office, and she would think that he, too, like the firefighters and police officers who died there, was a hero.