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September 11, 2006

Remembering Local Families on Fifth Anniversary

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On the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, there is an ongoing, interfaith Prayer Vigil for Peace at the Washington National Cathedral in NW. (Don't let the construction on Wisconsin Ave. deter you - the cathedral is very much open and active today.)

There were several commemorations in and around Washington yesterday, including the quilt project and the Unity Walk on the National Mall. This morning outside Arlington County's courts building, there was a moment of silence at 9:37 a.m., the tolling of the bells and the singing of the National Anthem. The Pentagon held a multi-faith service this morning (solely for Pentagon employee survivors). And another service for the Pentagon crash family members, by invitation only, took place at 9:30 this morning.

Still to come: In Vienna, VA, the Fifth Annual Mark McGinly Scholarship Golf Classic, Dinner, & Auction will raise money for his scholarship fund. It's set for September 18 at the Westwood Country Club. Click here for more info. Mark was a young man born and raised in the DC area, and he died at the World Trade Center in NY.

Of the 184 people who died at the Pentagon that day, there were local parents, local children, and professionals who taught local kids and cared for local families.

This morning, feeling the inevitable weight of the day after watching the inevitable documentaries on TV last night, I decided to put aside the stack of work on my desk, and take a brief pause to read more about some of these Washington neighbors and friends we lost - not just as numbers, but as individuals with their own stories. The Post has excellent coverage of today's anniversary and its local impact.

Dr. Paul Ambrose was a 32-year-old family doctor in Arlington. Eleven-year-old Curtis Brown was a student at Leckie Elementary School in SE DC. Sgt. 1st Class Jose Orlando Calderon-Olmedo of Annandale, VA left behind children ages three and 10. Rosemary Chapa of Springfield, VA was a mother of five and a grandmother of five. Michele Heidenberger of Chevy Chase, MD was a mother of two. Dong Chul Lee of Leesburg, VA was a father of three. Patti Mickley of Springfield, VA was the mother of a young daughter. Shelley Marshall was the mother of two young children, both of whom were evacuated from the on-site childcare facility at the Pentagon that day. Charles Falkenberg and Leslie Whittington, a University Park, MD couple, was killed along with their two young children, Zoe and Dana.

And of course so many others. It only seemed right today to take a pause from business-as-usual and remember these lost neighbors and friends - and to let their families know that we remember, and we care.

Posted by Sarah at 9:56 AM.