Well, the 2,996 tribute project is over, and I personally think it was a success...I read many,many tributes over the course of several days, and I think most of them accomplished the original intent...to "celebrate the lives of those lost."
And people being so different,I found some very unique tributes...one lady had written a beautiful poem,incorporating all the information she'd learned about the name she was given to honor. Another tribute used a song. I don't think the 'how' mattered, as much as the 'why'....these were people we would never have known about, had Sept 11 not happened,but we wanted to honor them and let their families and friends know that we HAVEN'T forgotten their losses.
For myself, I immersed myself in research on Jonathan Cappello for weeks, and put together several different rough drafts,but something made me hold off on writing that final draft. I saw this question mulled over on a lot of tributes...should we try to contact the families or friends? Some chose not to,some did. I decided to attempt to contact email addresses I came across on tribute sites, largely because I wanted to always offer the option for the family to say, "We'd prefer that you not do this tribute."And also because I thought that someone who knew 'Jono' should have the opportunity TO post something remembering him...this wasn't about 'me',but about him.
The result of that was that I received a beautiful,heart-wrenching,heart-warming email from his girlfriend to post.And that led me to finally decide what my rough draft would be ...I would just use the words of his family and friends as much as possible. That's the way I came to 'know' him, was through their eyes.
I didn't need to post that all throughout my research,the thought kept wrenching my heart that when he died,'Jono' was only a year older than my oldest son. While I can't begin (and don't want to) imagine losing ANY of my children...since my oldest was so close to his age, I kept thinking of all the promise and possibilities there are in a 23 year old.And how devastating it must be for them that he's gone.
And I didn't need to say that the day I came across the post on a tribute site saying 'Your new nephew was born."and a picture? I had tears in my eyes, imagining what a bittersweetly joyous moment that must have been for the family.
So,why am I posting that now? Mostly because I want to give an explanation for why two OTHER tributes appeared later on my blog.
As with any large undertaking, and this being the first of it's kind...there were 'glitches'.Blogs come and go, and since people had started signing up back in July, I think it was? by the time Sept.11 came, some blogs had disappeared,or some bloggers had stopped blogging. I know on one blog,the last post I saw was the beginning of Sept.,when the blogger's child was in an accident. So you know it wasn't going to be a priority thought in their head...'hey, I need to get that tribute post up'..when they are in a family crisis of their own.
Late on the night of the 11th, I was only one of many who responded to a call to write some tributes that could not seem to be found,either because of broken links or missing blogs, or some other reason.(Because I did actually come across someone who posted "well, I just decided not to do it after all.")At the time, the main organizers of 2,996 were getting some much needed rest...I think in the beginning of this project, NO ONE had any idea how large it would become,especially when the sign-ups snowballed into an avalanche near the end.
I believe the thinking then was that the 40 or so that were missing was all there was,and there were enough people who had volunteered to write an extra tribute to handle getting those few tributes written in time to be posted for Sept.11? So, I was given two extra names to research, and put a post up for those names.
I'm now not sure if I should have volunteered,only because I felt my research was so much more rushed and hasty, after the way I had done my research on Jonathan Cappello's name.
Yes, learning more about these two other men who were lost on Sept.11 did touch my heart, and I volunteered at the time with I think the same thought that everyone else had..we wanted to make sure that everyone WAS honored.
But I later felt that it was perhaps a disservice to their names,to do it so quickly in one night? And also that it detracted from Jonathan's tribute, and that was never my intent. Misguided or not, my intent was to assisst those whose main concern was that we DID honor the commitment to see that each person was remembered and honored.
Well, you learn as you go. Overall, I was awed and humbled to be part of such a massive,international effort. And they are talking about making it an annual event. Since 'Never Forget' is one of my personal beliefs, and not just a slogan to me.....Sept.11 changed me just as it did so many others worldwide....I think I might like to be part of this again.
Even if my research on Gerard Moran and John Salamone was rushed at the time, I did come to know more about two other people that the world lost on that day.And regret and mourn their passing, and pause to hold their family and friends in my prayers.
I have decided that I will leave their names in the sidebar,with the name linking back to each of their tributes.(and I will most likely do more research on each of their names in the days ahead, and add to their tributes.)
Thank you, to Dale for thinking of this idea and thank you, to you and all the others who helped make it happen,so that we could each in our own way "celebrate their lives."