Now that August is upon us, we're a little more than a month away from the Tenth Anniversary of September Eleventh. I'd like to ask your help in honoring this event. For the Tenth Anniversary, I had hoped to do something really memorable and while the clock is ticking, there is still time to make this memorable and I need your help.
What were you doing on September 11th, what were you doing and where were you when you heard about the traggic events of this now infamous day? I was working when I got a frantic telephone call from my wife asking me to come home. I heard various things from NPR coverage of September 11th being broadcast over AFN (Armed Forces Network) as I was driving home that day. When I opened the door to my home, I was aware of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the plane crash in Pennsylvania, but my wife told me that my dad called and that my mother lost her battle to cancer sometime between the two planes hitting the World Trade Center. I was watching the coverage and dealing with the loss of my mother. The two events are forever connected within my mind. So September 11th is very personal for me.
On the 6th Anniversary, I wrote an article for one of my blogs and in researching the article I discovered Project 2996. The idea is pretty simple, they wanted to see that there were tributes posted online for all of the victims. For the 7th Anniversary I wrote about David Lychak, who was working at the pentagon. For the 8th Anniversay I expanded my tribute to include several firefighters who lost their lives.
There is little doubt that there have been a lot of bad things that have happened after September 11th, but what isn't in doubt is that all of the victims that died that day were people. Some where parents and had spouses, girlfriends, or boyfriends. Most of them will be missed by family, friends, coworkers, and a host of other people who never had the opportunity to know them or the gifts and talents that they brought into this world. Ther e were the police men and women, firefighters, EMTs, and other professionals who put their lives on the line all the time. There were a lot of people who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but there were 2996 people that died that day and countless others that lost loved ones and friends. Personally, I always feel bad when a child loses a parent at a young age, because I know that losing a parent at any age is never really an easy thing.
Over the past few years I've written tributes to the people listed below. If anyone has new information about any of them that I could share with my readers I'd love to post updates. I'd love to be able to share about some of the good things that have happened to the families and friends of the people that have left a mark on my life. Afterall, ten years have gone by and a lot can happen in ten years. I was fortunate enough to exchange emails with David Laychak's sister for the initial tribute that I wrote about him and I was thrilled to see a comment from his wife to the post that I did in 2009.
- Keith Roma (27)- of the Fire Patrol
- Christopher Santora (23)- of Engine Company 54
- Joseph P. Henry (25)- of Ladder 21
- Karl Henri Joseph (25)- an EMT
- Dana Hannon (29)- a NYC Firefighter
- David W Laychak (40)- a civial working at the Pentagon
In addition to helping me put together a memorable tribute in honor of the Tenth Anniversary, maybe you can help Project 2996 reach its goal of having an online tribute for all of the victims. Please feel free to host a tribute at your own blog or website or I'd be happy to post one in your honor if you don't have your own blog or website. You can leave a comment to this post or contact me via Twitter.
A few months ago I found a Social Network that caught my eye. Prepare New York is differnt than any othe Social Network that I'd seen before. In a weekly newsletter that I received after joining, they described themselves as "Prepare New York is a coalition of New York based interfaith organizations including-Auburn Seminary and its Center for Multifaith Education, Interfaith Center of New York, Intersections International, Odyssey Networks, Quest, and Tanenbaum and its Religion and Diversity Education Program, who are committed to preparing New York City (and the nation) for the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 by promoting civil dialogue, education about religious pluralism, support for the Muslim community, and coordinating events on the day of the anniversary. September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows and 9/11 Communities for Common Ground serve as advisers to the coalition."
What I really like about this social network is that it is an interfaith effort between Muslims, Jewish, Christians nd other to prepare for the 10th Anniversary of September 11th. They wish to clear up a lot of the missunderstanding and if possible some of the hatred that has fostered in the past decade (and actually goes back quite a bit father). I'm filled with hope when I think of what more interfaith projects such as this one can accomplish. Maybe they can encourage more acceptance of diversity and an embrassing or differences instead of driving us apart.
As the 10th Annivesary of September 11th approaches I'd like to use this occassion as a healing moment that brings us all closer together. I'd love to see each and every one of you write a tribute for Project 2996. While you're at it why not check out PrepareNY and see some of the great things they're doing, maybe you can even make some new friends. Let us all remember that we lost nearly 3000 people on that sad September day, let us honor their lives.
Here are some other links that you might be interested in...
My posts for the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th Annivesaries
Photo credit: New York 2 courtesy of mistereels.