They say that home isn’t so much a place as it is a feeling. Sometimes, that feeling can be found in the spirit of the people you hold dear. Daniel Joseph Fitzpatrick was that feeling. Danny was home for everyone who loved him.
On August 27, 2002, the world got a little brighter. On that day, Danny was born into a loving, Brooklyn family which included three older sisters and parents as excited as their daughters to welcome home their first little boy. From an early age, Danny’s character was obvious. He was kind, he was gentle and he was compassionate. He was a free spirit who loved waffles, Whirly Pops, Iron Maiden, football and his family. But, more than anything, Danny loved love.
A sensitive softie with a heart as big as a skyscraper, Danny often inspired others to see the green in their grass. A light himself, he wanted the world around him to be as bright as he saw it to be, and the people around him to be as good as, if not (impossibly) more-so, than he was. Greater than anything else, Danny believed in the power of a pinky promise and the power people’s word – though, not always did they stick to it, nor were those words as warm as he was.
Danny lost his life to suicide on August 11, 2016, just 16 days before his 14th birthday. Picked on relentlessly by his peers, Danny wrote a letter the month before his death detailing his experience at school. In his account, Danny – just a 13-year-old seventh grader at the time – wrote about the “constant” bullying he dealt with and the lack of response from teachers and school administration when he came to them in confidence.
The news of Danny’s death sent shock-waves across neighborhoods, states and countries. Efforts made in wake of the world losing Danny have inspired legislation – appropriately titled, “Danny’s Law” – that, if passed, will change the way bullying is handled nationwide. He continues to inspire global acts of kindness, well beyond the borders of his home-boroughs of Brooklyn and Staten Island.
Though, Danny left a mark on those he touched long before his passing.
His sisters remember their brother as the glue that held their family together. His parents, similarly, as their rock. He was a shoulder to lean on, a kind smile to come home to and, more than anything, a big hug to count on. He was – and still very much is – their pride and joy.