A week or so ago, I was tipped off by wordnerd about Project 2996. Dale Roe organizes this every year.
The basic gist of it is that he will assign a name of a victim of 9-11 for each person who signs up to write about that victim and keep their memory alive.
I didn't know anyone personally who died on that tragic day, so I asked to be assigned any name.
I'm honored to have been assigned Ronnie Lee Henderson. He was a fire fighter with the FDNY and lost his life at the World Trade Center.
He was only 52 years old and was from Newburgh, NY.
I know we will never know how many lives he saved that day or how many people he provided aid to in their time of need before he lost his own life, but the fact that he was just there makes him a hero in my book.
You can read a short tribute to him from the New York Times here.
UPDATE: The Evil Twin told me that the link didn't work for him, so I transcribed the info here. This is from the collected “Portraits of Grief” from the New York Times:
Ronnie Lee Henderson
“An Abundance of Family”
He may have been earning a fireman’s salary, but Ronnie Lee Henderson planned all along to turn that into more. He pared money from his paycheck and put it into bonds and mutual funds. In the quiet hours at the Engine Company 270 firehouse in Red Hook, he could be found reading books with titles like “How to Make Money Buying and Selling Houses”.
“I’d say to him, ‘What are you reading? You’re a fireman, you know what we get paid.’”said a friend, Gary Kakeh.
The father of four children, Mr. Henderson also helped raise his five younger siblings. His advice to all of them was consistent: stay in school, save your money. He figured out travel routes that enabled him to avoid paying bridge and tunnel tolls, and would stand in line for hours to get the store specials, said his sister, Sharon.
As a teenager, he got a job in a Frito-Lay factory and got to bring home the extra potato chips. Naturally, he shared with the rest of his family. “And he’d charge us a nickel,” she added.
“He was always telling us he was going to be a millionaire,” Ms. Henderson said. “He was a millionaire, by his heart.”
If you have a quick moment, please say a prayer (or send a positive thought, if you're not the praying type) for Ronnie Lee Henderson and ALL the victims of that horrible day.