Last year, I started a new tradition for the National Day of Remembrance. I had visited the National September 11 Memorial when I was in Manhattan for BlogHer ’12, and was extremely moved by the experience (massive understatement). It occurred to me that, rather than passively watch the televised tributes and read what the rest of the internet had to say about 9/11, each year I would involve myself by actively remembering and learning about a couple of the victims of that terrible day.
Cecelia E. Richard was 41 years old and worked at the Pentagon as an accounting technician. She was the youngest of seven children and was married to Michael. She loved her family, her mixed-breed Labrador, jazz music, and the Washington Redskins. She worked at every home game as a ticket collector.
Vincent G. Danz was a member of an elite unit of the NYPD, the Emergency Service Unit’s third squad, whose members are experts in things like rappelling, scuba diving, first aid, and marksmanship. He was married and had three daughters, including one who was only eight months old on 9/11/01. He was 37 when he died and was posthumously awarded the New York City Police Department Medal of Honor, the highest award that can be bestowed on a member of the service.
Joanne Flora Weil, 39, was a securities lawyer for Harris Beach in the South Tower. She once turned down a job with the government because the level of security and secrecy involved would have limited her contact with her parents. Her friends called her “Joannie”.
If you would like to do some learning and remembering today, here’s how. All you have to do is go to the September 11 Memorial website’s Memorial Guide and scroll down a little bit. On the bottom left of the screen you can click on North Pool or South Pool for a name listing. After that, pick a couple out and Google them. That’s it. It’s such a small task but so important, and the families appreciate any interest in their lost loved ones. THIS is something anyone can do.
Each year on this day I also think a lot about my dear friend Patty. When I attended BlogHer ’10 in New York, she and I were on a double decker bus tour of Manhattan together and as we approached Ground Zero she became tense and upset. I found out that she had not been to the site since before 9/11/01 because it was too emotional for her. It was the first time I experienced up close and personal how truly devastating that day was to everyone who lived in New York and the surrounding area when the attacks happened, regardless of whether they lost a loved one. Patty later posted her 9/11 story online and it gripped me; I will never forget it. She reposted it today and you can read it by clicking here.
If you would like to read about my visit to the September 11 Memorial last year, click here to read last year’s post.
Hug your loved ones today. Always Remember, Never Forget.