Greetings to my Blogging Pals. Those who have been with me a while know about my participation in Project 2996. I began my participation in 2009 and plan to continue this as long as I am able to do so. I ask each of you to take a moment to remember what happened on 9/11/2001. Even if you read my tributes previously, please read them again. It's important that we see this as an individual, personal event... not just something that happened in New York, D.C., and Pennsylvania a decade ago. It affects us all and will continue to do so. I do not see the 10th Anniversary as any different from the 2nd, the 19th, or the 100th. The pain for the families is the same. But this is a tribute to their loved one!! Please read about this wonderful gentleman.
*** This was posted in 2009 as my tribute to Sgt. Maj. Larry Strickland. I repeat it here as I will continue doing so on each anniversary of 9/11 as long as I am able. There are a couple of notes and updates from 2010 in bold/italic.
Please meet Sgt. Maj. Larry Strickland. He was 52 years old, born in Washington State, and had a Bachelor of Science degree. He had served our country in a lot of places including Germany, Washington State, Washington DC, Texas, and Virginia. He had many awards and decorations. Most devastating for me to learn was his plan to retire upon completion of 30 years of service... at the end of September 2001. After all of his service, he was close to spending more time on his hobbies (fishing, hiking, gourmet cooking, and needlepoint) and especially looking forward to spending more time with his family. SGM Strickland left behind a wife, Debra, who was the Garrison Command Sergeant Major of Fort Belvoir, VA. at the time, three adult children, and one grandson who will never know his grandfather as he was only a year old when SGM Strickland was taken. His parents also were left to deal with the untimely loss of their child.
NOTE: I posted a note to the family at Legacy.com and received two emails.
One was from SGM Strickland's son-in-law and read, in part:
"I came across your blog today while searching for SM Larry Strickland. I am lucky enough to be married to his daughter Julia and I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for caring enough to research this remarkable man. Everything you read about him and his character is true. He left behind an amazingly strong wife, a beautiful daughter, his two sons, and his grandson. His grandson was 4, not 1 as many newspaper articles claim, so he does remember his grandfather, and fondly."(I was SO happy to read that his grandson did remember his grandfather and wanted to share that with you all! MNC)
The other email was from SGM Strickland's daughter and read, in part:
"Mary, thank you very much for your kind words. I am Larry's daughter, and it is wonderful to know that though it's been 8 years, remembering him and this tragic event is still as important now as it was the day it happened. He was truly a wonderful man, and the best father anyone could ask for."
SGM Strickland headed out to work that day at the Pentagon as there were some meetings he deemed important enough to attend even though he could have skipped them. He had annual leave built up that needed to be used or lost. He chose to go to work. If you knew nothing more about him than that, you would know the character of the man. It was that character that had him in his office on the second floor when the wing he was in was struck by American Airlines Flight 77.
But this is a tribute to SGM Strickland's life. And I've got to tell you the things said about him and written about him are absolutely glowing!! What a wonderful thing... to have those left behind remember you so well and so lovingly. It's not just family. These were friends, co-workers, people who knew him on a "business" level where, many times, the feelings are not so great. I would suggest you take a few moments today to review three different web sites where there are tributes (and from where I gathered much of the information I am sharing with you). It really won't take that long and, thankfully, most of us did not actually know anyone who was lost that day. Perhaps it would be good to learn about at least one of them. I know it gave me a very new perspective.
Pentagon Memorial Fund - Names of the souls lost at the Pentagon are alphabetical by last name. Scroll down and click on SGM Strickland's name to read about his service career.
Columns - The University of Washington Alumni Magazine- Read a really great article here about SGM Strickland's personal life. Sounds like someone we would all like to have known.
The Washington Post - This project is a database of all of the souls lost that day and has a very nice tribute to SGM Strickland.
Legacy.com - This is where folks can leave notes for the family. Many folks were positively impacted by SGM Strickland. Some commented here about their appreciation of the man. I invite you to take just a moment to leave a note here to let the family know the loss of their loved one is something we all remember.
9-11 Heroes - This is another site where a note can be left. Again... take a moment to leave a note on at least one of the sites. You have no idea how much this can mean to family members.
Thank you, SGM Strickland, for your service, for your honor, and for your character. I'm glad I got to know you.
We should never forget.