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.
On September 11, 2001 Ruben S. Ornedo was heading home to Los Angeles on American Airlines Flight 77 from Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. after a quick business trip. He worked for Boeing Satellite Systems in El Segundo, California, where he was affectionately known as “Ornedo the Tornado” for his hard work, diligence and quick action as a lead engineer in the satellite systems engineering organization. He loved nature, the outdoors, world travel and home renovation. His wife of three months, Sheila, was pregnant with their first child.
Lizie Martinez-Calderon was a secretary at Aon Insurance. She immigrated to New York from the Dominican Republic and was a woman of faith, her husband Marino said. She sang in the choir of their Adventist church in Washington Heights and was a member of a church group trained to assist victims in times of tragedy. In addition to Marino, Lizie left behind a four-year-old daughter, Naomi, and a 20-month-old son.
Following his graduation from Brown University in 1983, David W. Laychak had a distinguished career as a civilian employee of the Department of the Army which took him from the Pentagon to Syracuse University (where he earned his M.B.A. in the Army Comptrollership Program) to the Army Signal Command in Fort Huachuca, Arizona and finally back to the Pentagon in 2000 where he was serving as as Chief, Budget Execution Branch, Program and Budget Division, Resource Services-Washington, Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. He and his wife, Laurie, met at the Pentagon in 1984 and had two children, Zachary (9) and Jennifer (7).
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.
Hug your loved ones today. Always Remember, Never Forget.