Actively Remembering on the National Day of Remembrance

National September 11 Memorial

In 2012, I started a new personal 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.

First Responder Officer Paul Talty had been a member of the New York City Police Department for nine years. He had worked as an electrician and a carpenter before joining the department. “Paul wasn’t driven to be a hero like some others on the force,” said his sister-in- law Lisa Talty. There are many teachers in his family, but no policemen. “He became a policeman because he wanted to take care of his family.” Officer Talty left behind a wife and three children.

Shelley A. Marshall
had worked as a budget analyst in the comptroller’s office of the Defense Intelligence Agency for three years. She was two days away from moving to an office on the other side of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Shelley was passionate about life, work and her family. Throughout her career with DIA, Shelley received numerous awards for her distinguished performance. In her spare time she loved creating scrapbooks and having tea parties. Marshall was survived by her husband and two small children.

Suzanne M. Calley was an employee of Cisco and a passenger on American Airlines Flight 77. She was on her way home from a business trip and would have celebrated her 20th wedding anniversary on September 12. She was manager of Cisco marketing programs in the Cisco strategic alliance marketing group, and joined Cisco in 1997. A colleague described her as being “honest, direct, and full of sunshine”. She was a master scuba diver and she and her husband had two beloved Labrador retrievers, Hershey and Bandit.

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.

If you would like to read about my visit to the September 11 Memorial in 2012, click here.

Hug your loved ones today. Always Remember, Never Forget.

One Comment

  • Vivian

    Good column, Melisa; it’s frustrating to remember the horror of that day, think of the people involved, and feel like there is nothing you can do. This is a great way to get past that, and hopefully give some comfort to those who suffered personal loss.