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The Power of Friendship Reveals itself Am id Rubble of 9/11
By Larry Teitelbaum

Classmates raised money to erect two plaques in memory of Geoffrey Cloud L'90, who died in the attacks on 9/11. The plaques are situated in one of the new classrooms in Gittis Hall.
They were best friends, Doug Mastroianni L'90 and Geoffrey Cloud L'90. It all started in law school, where they lived down the hall from each other in the cloistered environment of the old dorms. They took classes and meals together, and developed a rapport around their mutual love of politics and sports.

After the crucible of law school, the friendship continued to flourish, with Mastroianni serving as best man at Cloud's wedding and the two visiting each other several times a year, even though Mastroianni lived in Los Angeles and Cloud in New York.

They were not just best friends, but like brothers. Mastroianni had every reason to believe that he and Cloud would go through all of life's stages together: marriage, children, jobs, retirement – the gamut. Not to be.

While on hiatus from law practice, Mastroianni was in Italy studying Italian and getting acquainted with members of his far-flung family. One day, while eating lunch, he overheard disturbing news. A person on a cellphone was talking about an attack on the World Trade Center. He immediately called Cloud, who was a lawyer in the compliance department of Cantor Fitzgerald, a big investment bank and brokerage house that occupied the top four floors of the North Tower, where Cloud worked on the 104th floor. No answer.

Mio Cloud embraces portrait of late husband Geoffrey Cloud, a victim of the 9/11
attacks on the World Trade Center. With her are children Geoffrey, Jr. and Jaclyn.
Mio Cloud embraces portrait of late husband Geoffrey Cloud, a victim of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. With her are children Geoffrey, Jr. and Jaclyn.
Late that night, Mastroianni reached Cloud's father, who delivered the shocking news: the towers had fallen. Mastroianni returned to the States and decided to stop in New York on a quixotic mission to find Cloud, thinking, at least hoping, he might locate him in a hospital lying unconscious or suffering from amnesia. He quickly realized the futility of that plan.

Instead, he attended a memorial service and spent a week with Cloud's wife, Mio, sorting through and bagging her husband's clothing for donation to Goodwill and playing with his friend's young children, Geoffrey, Jr. and Jaclyn. Such is the power of friendship.

Mio grew up in Japan. She came to the United States to go to law school. Mio met Geoffrey while both were summer associates at a Boston law firm. Geoffrey hailed from the Boston area. The couple was married on Feb. 23, 1991.

After law school, Geoffrey worked as a litigator at two law firms in Stamford, Conn. But what he really wanted to do, according to Mio, was work on Wall Street. To his good fortune, he landed a job as an enforcement lawyer with the New York Stock Exchange, and later moved to Cantor Fitzgerald. "I remember he was so excited when the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 10,000," says Mio. "The stock market was the most fascinating thing in this world (to him)."

On September 11, Mio was in her office at the Bank of Tokyo in midtown Manhattan when someone shrieked, " 'Omigod, two airplanes hit the World Trade Center.'"

She called her husband immediately, but could not reach him. Mio left work early. Over the days and weeks Mio, now desperate and forlorn, carried pictures of her husband to firehouses and visited Cantor's headquarters to see if she could get any information. A couple months later, she received a call from the medical examiner telling her that they had found a collarbone matching Geoffrey's DNA.

His children were five and six years old. "My son went through so many Father's Days and Boys Nights Out," says Mio of her son, Geoffrey Cloud, Jr. "Everybody takes it for granted that everyone has a father."

Mastroianni has tried to fill the void. Mio and her teenage children visit him almost every year in California, where Mastroianni runs his own law practice.

Their visits are a reminder that things could have turned out differently.

Cloud was planning a vacation to visit his friend in Italy. Mastroianni suggested he come on September 11, 2001, the day his cousin was scheduled to fly in. PLJ