2996 Tribute Project
Missy’s joined in
Missy’s decided to join the 2996 Tribute Project. She was worried they wouldn’t accept her because she’s only 11, but when I explained that the sign up never asked for my age or anything, she signed up enthusiastically. Interestingly, I was blogger number 2593 to sign up and Missy was blogger 2953. Only 46 more to go! If you haven’t already signed up, please (quickly) consider doing so. Please note, you do not get to “choose” who you will honor, your tributee will be assigned to you. Which is going to make what you’re about to read even more coincidental.
What’s it all about?
On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11. Each person will pay tribute to a single victim. We will honor them by remembering their lives, and not by remembering their murderers. Enough has been written about their murderers and about the way they died.
Putting a face on 9/11
For me, there are four people whose names and faces came to my mind immediately when I heard about this project.
The first one is Lisa Frost. Lisa was the niece of my dear friend Janie. I was talking to Janie the morning that this all happened, long before she learned that Lisa was on the second plane, United 175, the one that hit the WTC live on television. Every time I see the footage again, the reality hits me that Lisa died in that instant, while her aunt and I watched helplessly, not knowing how very personal it was about to become for one of us.
Lisa Aris Frost will be honored by blogger Sean Gavin at The Holding Pattern.
The second person who came to mind actually goes hand in hand with the third and fourth. A very early article I was reading on the lives lost that day showed pictures of some of the victims. One photo leapt off the page at me, it was a beautiful little girl and her mom. Maybe because Missy wasn’t much older than the little girl at the time and they somewhat resembled each other, for whatever reason, the picture tugged at my heart in a way none of the others had.
The photo in question was of Ruth McCourt and her daughter Juliana, who was only four years old. Like Lisa, they were on Flight 175. As I looked at the photograph, I sat there wondering if they knew what was going to happen. Did Ruth know they were about to die, and what did she say to her little girl? Did Juliana understand what was happening? Did Ruth try to shield her from it? Did she lie to her? Did she tell her she loved her and just hold her tight when it happened? Did she know that Paige’s plane had already crashed? The questions ate at me for months, they bother me still.
I did a lot of reading up on the McCourts at the time, I guess it was morbid curiosity or something. I learned that Ruth’s best friend (Paige Farley-Hackel – at right) was on the other plane, United 11 — they’d intended to fly out together, but wound up on different planes when Paige realized she could use frequent flyer miles for her flight, but only if she took flight 11 instead. As best friends, they frequently traveled together. They were on their way to California, and part of their trip included a visit to Disneyland for Juliana. They joked that if one of the planes went down, at least one of them would survive. I couldn’t help but imagine the profound sadness Ruth and Paige must have felt when they met up in Heaven.
Perhaps ironically, Ruth’s brother was in one of the tower buildings on 9/11. He made it out of the building safely, unaware that his sister and niece were in the second plane.
More than any other victims, Ruth and Julianna came to define the absolute senselessness of 9/11 for me.
Juliana will be honored by Jamie Dawn at Jamie Dawn’s Mindless Blather.
Paige Farley-Hackel will be remembered by Derek of Gwinn & Bear It.
Juliana’s mom, Ruth, will be paid tribute by yours truly. I hope to find the words to make Ruth as real and vibrant to each of you as she’s been to me in the five years since 9/11.
Missy will honor David William Nelson, a senior Vice President for Carr Futures who was in the World Trade Center.
She’s already started researching Mr. Nelson, she has a stack of sites bookmarked and has begun making notes. She’s spent the last 40 minutes scouring the web for a site run by any of his family members, she hopes to get a better photo of him and find out what kind of a person he was from someone who actually knew him.
List of participating blogs and the victim each will honor on 9/11
If you knew one of these 2,996 people, please consider contacting the blogger and providing any insight, contacts, resources or photographs you may have to help them in their tribute.