Sunday, September 11, 2011

In Memorium: September 11, 2001

On the 5th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, I posted a memorial to one of the victims of those attacks. I did this as part of an Internet project called 2,996: Honoring the Victims of 9/11. Three years later, I took part again, and posted a new memorial to a different victim. Both of them died at the World Trade Center. Even though it has been five years and two years respectively since I posted these memorials, I have received occasional comments about them, including two comments just in the past couple of days. Obviously the victims' names were Googled by interested parties, and they came across my posts.

Sadly enough, I never saw any project advertised like the one five or two years ago, so I have decided to repost the two memorials I wrote in 2006 and 2009. The first memorial that I wrote in 2006 is for Christopher Faughnan:

Christopher Faughnan, 1963-2001

I recently told you that I, along with thousands of other bloggers, signed up to honor a victim of the Islamic terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It is now time for me to carry out my promise. I know I am early (I am writing this on 9/6/06), but I think Mr. Faughnan deserves more than one day, don't you?

Christopher Faughnan was born on October 31, 1963 in Colorado. He attended the University of Colorado, Boulder, graduating in 1985. Chris met his wife Cathy while both were undergraduates at CU. He was working as a security guard, she as a lifeguard. One day, Cathy held up a piece of paper to Chris that said, "Cute Butt."

Chris and Cathy had three children: Siena, Juliet, and Liam. The Faughnan family lived in South Orange, New Jersey and Chris worked as a government bond trader at Cantor Fitzgerald Securities, which was located on floors 101-105 in the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

When Chris got home every weekday at 6:30 p.m. from his job, "he would get the kids all crazy," Cathy said. "They would jump around him, laughing and kissing him." Chris and Cathy bought a minivan, and Chris ferried the three children to art classes, gymnastic practice, ballet lessons and soccer games.

According to Chris's younger brother Michael, Chris was a, "compassionate, respectful and generous man. He stood in defense of our environment, volunteered his time and money in support of human rights, and gave unselfishly to help disadvantaged, vulnerable members of our society. He spoke openly against unjust government policies, and followed a private ethic of compassion."

On the morning of September 11, 2001, Chris was working in his office in the North Tower. At about 8:30am, Chris had talked to his youngest daughter, Juliet, who was four years old at the time. Chris cajoled Juliet into saying "I love you" to him. Juliet was the last Faughnan family member to speak to Chris. At 8:46am, Islamic terrorists piloting American Airlines Flight 11 struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center just below the offices of Cantor Fitzgerald. Chris was one of 658 employees of Cantor Fitzgerald who died that awful day. Chris Faughnan, husband and father of three, was 37 years old.

After Chris's death, Cathy and the children moved to Boulder, Colorado to be closer to family.

In a November 2003 tribute to his brother, Michael Faughnan had this to say about Chris:
"There are many adjectives I could use to describe my brother, but words always fall short. So I guess I'll just identify a scene perhaps many may relate to. It may sound superficial but it really is quite telling. You know when you're in a bar and there's somebody in the group that looks to you and says, 'what are you drinking?' and he comes back with three or four drinks for others - that's an example of Chris. Not keeping score on who buys the next round, but because he wants you to have a beer and not pay for it.

So the next time somebody buys you a beer - not expecting one in return- think of my brother."

God Bless you, and Good Day to You, Christopher Faughnan


Next is the memorial I wrote in 2009 for Joan Francis:

Three years ago, I profiled Christopher Faughnan, who died in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. I have linked the profile to his name if you wish to read it. I wrote about Mr. Faughnan as a part of the 2,996 Project, which was begun to help remember the 2,996 innocent people who were killed on September 11, 2001 in the World Trade Center, in the hijacked airplanes, or in the Pentagon. The way the Project works is that bloggers sign up to honor one or more victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The person I was assigned is a woman named Joan Francis. While I found all kinds of information for Christopher Faughnan, it was very difficult to find any information on Ms. Francis. After Googling her name, I noticed that on list after list of all the 9/11 victims, Ms. Francis was the only person on the entire list who did not have her age and town/state of residence listed beside her name. I found one website that quoted a government official from the Carribean island nation of Trinidad-Tobago identifying Ms. Francis as being a citizen of that country.

The lack of information or photos of Ms. Francis saddened me greatly, as I could not find out if there is anyone - friends or family - who miss her or give tribute to her memory. So Joan Francis of Trinidad-Tobago, although I have never met you; I don't know what you look like; I have no idea what kind of person you were or what kind of life you led; I do know that you were present in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and you deserve to be remembered and honored for giving your life on that horrible day that still haunts my dreams.

God Bless you, and Good Day to You, Joan Francis


God Bless these two people, the thousands of other victims who died that day, and also the thousands of American servicemembers who have died in the wars that were born out of the aftermath of that day ten years ago that changed the United States forever.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

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