Friday, September 9, 2011


Heyyah, friends. Once again on this anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America, I present this tribute to Mike Tanner, with respect and with love.

If you look into the comments section, you will see two comments from Mr. Tanner's widow, Michele.
I would ask each of you to treat her with the due respect which this lady deserves, should you decide to e-mail her.

(( Republished from 2 years ago ))

TEN YEARS AGO, September 11, 2001 was a crisp, mild Tuesday.
The early morning weather that morning in Secaucus, New Jersey was clear and unusually cool, around 57° at 5:45 am, when Michael Anthony Tanner made his wife's coffee.

"I couldn't get out of bed unless I had coffee," wife Michele Tanner would remember. "He would get up at 5:30, and he left at 6, but at 5 till, he would have that coffee underneath my nose, every day of my married life."

This Post is Dedicated to The Extraordinary Life of Michael Anthony Tanner, Secaucus, New Jersey, an investment trader with Cantor Fitzgerald, working in the North World Trade Tower in lower Manhattan, New York.
More Specially, To His Eternal Memory And Legacy.

Michael "Tiny" Tanner, 44.

Tanner was called "Tiny" by his friends and co-workers, as he was taller than 6-foot-2, and weighed over 250 pounds. And he had a large capacity for kindness. Men as big as "Tiny" Mike Tanner often need to be extra-kind, to offset their impressive size. Michele just called her loving husband 'Mike'.

Mike worked for the Investment and Stock Trading firm, Cantor Fitzgerald. CantFitz, whose slogan is "At the end of the day, what did you achieve?", back in 2001, was located on floors 101-105 of the north World Trade Center.

More on his office space, in just a moment.

Meanwhile, Let's get to know Michael Anthony Tanner.

This past March 24th, 2009, his wife wrote:
"Hi Michael,

Wish you were here to see your beautiful, intelligent, spirited, kind hearted daughters. You would be so proud.Your mom misses you so much. I miss you so much. Not good at feelings so Happy Birthday in Heaven. say hi to dad and Teddy. Michele"

A friend of Mike's wrote: "... I'll always remember the Herman Munster shots (monster home runs) you used to hit. You were a good man."

See, Mike Tanner of Secaucus, New Jersey was a star athlete in his youth, before he was a star Investment/Securities trader as an adult. He lettered in Football, all four years he attended Cornell University in Ithica, New York, as Quarterback of the Cornell Big Red. ~!

Yeah... Quarterback!.

Of a college football team. Dang. Wow.
Even of an Ivy League team, that says a great deal about the student athlete, Mike Tanner.

Well after all, he had been an All-State footballer in New Jersey in 1975, leading his H.S. team to that state's Parochial B state title. QB Tanner then led his Cornell University Big Red Machine to an 8-19 record in 1976-77, and 1979. (note- as a freshman at CU~!)

Among his proudest moments was leading Cornell to a nail-biting, upset win over arch rival Harvard U., 17 to 7, in '77. Two years later, in Tiny's final year, he led the Big Red in a whuppin' of Harvard, 41-14!

"Mike had a cannon for an arm, and he was a hard runner who was built more like an offensive guard than a quarterback," said Don Fanelli, class of '76, and long-time friend of Tanner's from both high school and college, and a Chi Psi fraternity brother.

Remember Mike's nickname, "Tiny"??
That Never Referred to Mike's Heart. Because on September 10th, 2001, 'Tiny' phoned Don Fanelli, offering him two tickets to a N.Y. Yankees game for the next night, Tuesday the 11th, in celebration of Fanelli's wife's birthday.

"We were supposed to meet Tuesday evening. You know the rest." Fanelli said. "Despite his many personal successes, Mike retained an affinity for the underdog -- and loved the Mets and the Jets." Tiny's brother in law, Frank D'Amelio, would say later, "He gave away a lot that no one knew about. He had a heart of pure gold. He would think nothing of handing a friend $5,000 and telling them not to worry about it."

Sorry, I got ahead of myself. Michael Anthony Tanner's life is a best seller storybook, including the heartwarming, devoted love affair of his life, Michele, his longtime girlfriend, then all Too-short a time wife.

As if Mike Tanner's life wasn't already the stuff which little boys' fantasies were made of, being a state High School football quarterback star, being the University's starting football quarterback, and hitting "Herman Munster sized" Home runs, he married his High School sweetheart, too.

Mike met Michele when he was 20, she 18. They dated and then went their separate ways, but that spark between them continued to smoulder it seems, because the two always knew they would eventually wind up back together.

Ten years later, Mike and Michele realized that what they had was true love, so they made it official: Michele and Tiny Tanner.

Mr/Mrs. Michael A. Tanner. circa 2001, Secaucus, New Jersey had enjoyed a 15-year marriage and produced two extraordinary daughters, Shasha and Gianna Tanner. Mike coached basketball and softball for Sasha, 14, and was teaching Gianna, 4, football drills in the house. "The football would go flying towards this humongous chandelier, and I'd put my hands to my eyes and say, `Just be careful!'", Michele recalled, in 2002.
We already have learned that Mike offered his buddy Don, Yankees tickets the night before the awful, Islamic terrorism attacks, and so sadly, his death.

That Yankees game with Cleveland would not be played for almost another three weeks, as baseball became the most meaningless thing in the world suddenly.

We know that maybe, Mike brewed coffee for Michele in their kitchen, maybe 4 hours before his murder, along with 2,995 other Americans
that damned morning;
he and everyone else awoke that morning, never expecting, never dreaming what nightmare would transpire 4 hours later:

Then, on Mike Tanner's last, innocent morning, likewise the last moments of America's normalcy, Tiny Tanner proved yet again, to be a Giant hero to his co-workers. From reports of fellow employees' families, the hero Tanner, having already seen the first hijacked airliner crash into the South Tower only minutes before, took charge on his floor of the north WTC, directing other people down the stairway before himself. Until the terrifying end there, in stunned shock at a second airplane attack, and then realizing his own fate, at being among the first Americans to know that suddenly, violently, We had been attacked, and were now at war.

Michael Anthony Tanner, "Tiny".

With A Humongous Heart of Gold.
B. March 24, 1957.
D. September 11, 2001.



Rita Loca said...

It is still so hard to think about that day. And worse to realize some have already forgotten what happened and what it means. So many heroes that day deserve more.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

For the sake of Mike Tanner, Allen Bondarenko, and the other 2,993 souls, I pray that Obama has the courage to see this war through, though I fully do not believe he does.

Great Tribute you did. God Bless.

Spitfire said...

Awesome post Mal...may we never forget the outstanding heroes that surfaced that horrible day. May YHWH bless their families with comfort and strength. And may He grant this country wisdom to remember and honor those that died that awful day. May the day remind all of us how fleeting life is and how precious every moment of it is...and may we live accordingly.
Shalom, Spitfire

Alicia said...

Thank you. I honor Christopher Paul Slattery.

Quite Rightly said...

Thank you for remembering Michael Tanner, who used to study and play football just a few miles from my home.

I honor William J. Meehan

Subvet said...

Awesome post. God rest his soul.

Robin said...

I started trading with Tiny back when there was about 8 people at Cantor. He was so much fun, I can hear hear his laugh as I write this.
I will miss him and Will Raub and Stevie Genovese and all the pranksters on the OTC desk, God bless them and thier families and all of thier sacrifices.
Even though it is still so hard to think about that day, I am back in St. Louis and I was glad to run across this post that remembers him so well. I hope Michael Antolini gets the chance to see this.

One Ticked Chick said...

Thank you for bringing us Mike's story. We lost so much on that day. I honor Sgt. John Coughlin and Lt. Edward D'Atri today, as a participant in Project 2996.


Well done.

I honor Scott M. Schertzer:

The Local Malcontent said...

Please-- Do Not Thank Me~!

It is an honor to write about Mike Tanner, his life and his heroism here.
Literally, the more I learned about Tiny, the more impressed I became.

To Robin: WOW, you knew Tiny?
I envy you that~!
I bet Tiny WAS a prankster, too~! You can see it in his eyes, you can imagine that of him, in his life.
Today, Mike Tanner is surely with God.

Anonymous said...

I was just wondering if you knew anything more about Michael Tanner's final moments. If he said anything special to his coworkers that day or when he was helping them get out? I realize this must be a little odd, but if you could you post anything more about him and his life?

Unknown said...

Hi my name is Michela Tanner or Michele as i am known. I am the wife of Michael "TINY" Tanner. My 11 year old daughter Gianna came across your write up of her father tonight as she googled her name. Needless to say we were proud and honored to read this article about Mike. It brought a tear to my eye as i never remarried. Normally i have always shyed away from this typr of trhing and i have always kept my daughters sheltered from the interviews of 9/11. My e-mail adress is if you want to contact me. My oldest daughter sasha graduates from Cornell University this weekend. We were just saying how proud her dad would be of her as he also attended and graduated from Cornell himself.My daughters not only lost their dad who was their Hero but their mentor, thank you for your genuine and caring autobiography of their dad.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday afternoon it all hit me at once because I'd inadvertantly let the day sneak up on me -- God help me, I'd almost forgotten.

But there's remembering, and then there's remembering, and what I did yesterday was remember -- a tiny echo of what it was like to live through the day nine years ago.

I must have needed it.

ABNPOPPA said...

A wonderful post to a a wonderful American and family man.

Bless you,


Kini said...


Pehea 'oe?

Anonymous said...

Hope y'all got well prepared for winter and that you'll have a great Christmas.

Anonymous said...

...and a Happy New Year.

Col. B. Bunny said...


Happy New Year to you.

Anonymous said...

As I read this story it brought to mind the people who so bravely attempted to assist others, often at the expense of their own lives. These men and women, though not "enlisted" should be honored as we honor soldiers and veterans. For what they did is no different than the thousands who have given their hearts, souls, and lives to protect this wonderful country. I consider myself blessed to have lived in a country controlled by a dictator. Granted my experience was over 40 years ago, but I distinctly remember. I remember walking to the end of the driveway of the house we occupied in Valencia, Spain. I would look to the left and to the right - at both corners were Franco's "police". Our mail from the United States was censored. Radio, TV, and newspapers only contained what Franco wanted them to contain. I go into this detail to say this - I know what freedom truly means. And I thank God that I was born in a country that is free. Please don't take advantage of this freedom, otherwise all the lives that have been lost protecting it will have been lost in vain

Michela Tanner said...

Happy 25 Th Michael. Still Miss and love you, I am sad but grateful for what you left me. Two amazing daughters and the love of the Tanner Family. WE know what a biotch i can be so that is a major accomplishment. Bet you are laughing your azz off as you play golf with Teddy in that amazing Big Blue Sky. Give teddy a kiss and hug and tell him all our electronics need a fixing. Love your Hot tempered Italian. Michela xoxo

Anonymous said...

You never forget the great ones...growing up in Secaucus in the 70's everyone wanted be like Mike....having lost his Dad at an early age Mike was always a leader in the house and on the field.It is and always will be the saddest day of the year for those of the survivors who are left behind to wonder what if?
I admire your strength and that of your daughter's . Your family will always be in our prayers.

The Local Malcontent said...

To anonymous, Sept. 10, 2013--
What a spendid tribute to Mr. Tanner, thank you. While I obviously never knew Mike, I think about him frequently now, Michella and their daughters.
I envy you for having known this great one~

Regards,the local malcontent

Unknown said...

How wonderful that you remember Mike , Will and Steve Genovese along with peaches were pranksters. Are used to call them all Man Child's. Thank you for remembering them