The Plaque

You have to go all the way to the end of the Manhattan Beach promenade to see it. Even then, it is almost hidden from view. Go to the spot where the walkway meets a tall, vine-covered fence, approach the short railing that separates the promenade from the jetty, and look down at the stones.

That’s where you’ll see it, fastened to the rocks. A small bronze plaque, weathered from the salt water that washes over it daily. I would have missed it entirely, if not for the brightly colored bouquets laid at its base, nearly covering the simple inscription.

I don’t know whether people carefully climb over the metal barrier to place bouquets upon the rocks all year around, or whether there are flowers on the jetty today because the events that prompted the plaque occurred exactly 12 years ago.

Police identified the missing and presumed dead youth as Daniel Zahra, 18, of Brooklyn. The tragic incident occurred around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday while the family boat was anchored 100 yards off Manhattan Beach in Sheepshead Bay.

The teen and his father had been spending time together on the boat, and Daniel asked for, and got permission, to go for a swim, authorities said. But the youngster never resurfaced after he dived in.

The searchers used helicopters and sonar radar to search the ocean floor, which was about 30 feet deep where Zahra dove. The young man’s father, his eyes brimming with tears, was too distraught to talk to reporters. He sat in a car near the beach with family members, waiting for an end to the grim search.

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Keep off the jetty

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The flowers draw attention to the plaque

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The rocks of the jetty are treacherous

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The inscription is almost hidden

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Danny Zahra: 1980 – 1998 Forever in our hearts

NY Post: B’klyn Teen Feared Drowned
NY Times: A Search for a Missing Youth

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3 Responses to The Plaque

  1. Esther says:

    Oh, so sad! Poor boy. A real tragedy. :(

    Like

  2. Diamond says:

    I was just standing on the promenade, looking out at the sea and saw flowers. I noticed the plaque and after reading it,I decided to google Danny Zahra. This is a sad story but R.I.P Danny Zahra…

    Like

  3. Crystal says:

    Danny was a childhood friend ;( …so nice to randomly come across this..

    Like

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