Monday, September 11, 2006
We all know what anniversary it is today. I know I have said some prayers. I hope you will, too.
I signed up for a name at DC Roe's site. He is trying to get bloggers to sponsor each name on the list of victims. I got Rosa Maria ("Rosemary") Chapa. Let me tell you about her. I have tried to find accurate information about her, but there were some conflicting stories on the Internet. All apologies for any inaccuracies.
She grew up in San Antonio, TX and went to Thomas Jefferson High School. Ever since she was a child, she wanted to work at the Pentagon. Through hard work and determination, she managed to work her way up the ranks. For a time, she worked for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Well liked by her colleagues, she was awarded the Joint Meritorious Civilian Service Award. She was 63 years old and in senior management in the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) at the time of the attack. By then, she had been living her dream of working in the Pentagon for over a decade. She was only a few months away from retirement.
In addition to being hard-working, Rosemary was also described as bright, intelligent and optimistic. I think this is evident when looking at the photo above. What a kind and loving face she has. She has a certain glow about her, does she not? One comment I read about her said (and I paraphrase), "What a beautiful place heaven must be, now that she is there."
Rosemary was also selfless and generous with her time and wisdom. One of her coworkers credited Rosemary with his career advancement, saying he wouldn't be where he is today without her guidance and help.
She is greatly missed, not only by her colleagues, but also by her friends and family. Her husband, her father, her 5 children, her 4 siblings, her 5 grandchildren and her two dogs survived Rosemary.
Today, she is buried among heroes and next to her Air Force husband, in Arlington National Cemetery.
Although I never met Rosemary, I feel I do know a little bit about her now. And I am grateful for the opportunity to share with others a tiny slice of her life. It helps her memory to live on a little, even if it is only with strangers.
I was lucky enough not to have any friends or family die in the attacks on 9/11/01. But I do ache at the thought of how devastating this must have been for those who were watching not only their country, but their loved ones, being attacked. I doubt any of us will ever be able to fully understand the pain and anger they must deal with on a regular basis. On days like today, it must be so much worse. My heart goes out to them. I hope that time will help the victims' families and friends find peace.