For a few years now I’ve been meaning to participate in Project 2,996, an annual effort to memorialize all of the victims of 9/11 in the blogosphere. It’s a simple deal– I volunteered and was randomly assigned two victims to remember.
Like most everybody in the United States, I remember where I was 8 years ago this morning. I was on my way to work in Salt Lake City. Unlike most mornings, I opted to listen to music in the car instead of news/talk radio. I didn’t know what was going on until I got to my desk and did my morning Drudge check.
I tried online streams for CNN, Fox News– any news outlet. Nothing but busy networks. Everybody in the world was trying the same thing at the same time. I stuck to refreshing Drudge.
First tower down.
Because the full scope of these events had yet to unfold, work went on as usual. We started a meeting, which was somber. One guy had a sister that worked in the Pentagon. He hadn’t been able to reach her since he heard the news.
We talked client software user manuals and data sets. I didn’t pay attention much, which noticeably irked my supervisor.
Second tower down.
The world was changing as we deliberated. I didn’t know anybody directly affected by the attacks, but my gut and heart were deeply affected then. Here are a few sentences about two people I didn’t know, but who both fell victim to terrorist attacks on our own soil that morning:
John M. Rodak
Mr. Rodak, 39, worked in 2 World Trade Center. He was just getting his day started after a 2-hour commute from his home in Mantua, N.J. He was survived by his wife and two young daughters.
Emerita (Emy) De la Pena
Mrs. De la Pena, 32, was the mother of a 1 year old daughter, Daniella. She worked on the 90th floor of the same building as a secretary. She was survived by her daughter.
Mr. Rodak and Mrs. De la Pena, we remember you today. My God bless you and all those who loved you.