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Monday, September 11, 2006
The 2,996 Project: Rodney Dickens
Five years ago today, 2,996 people woke up and began what probably started out as a just an average, ordinary day. Little did any of those people know (or any of the rest of us for that matter) know that before the day was over, the world would be shattered and changed in ways that we are still coming to grips with now.

2,996 people died as a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Today, I want to honor the memory of one of those victims, Rodney Dickens.

Rodney was 11 years old and an honor student. He'd won a competition and was travelling to attend a national marine sanctuary program.

I can imagine that being 11, Rodney was probably pretty excited about travelling on a plane. And probably a little nervous as well since from what I can gather, he was travelling alone that day. I imagine he probably didn't sleep much the night before, being excited about the plane ride, the adventure he was going on and the thrill of winning this compeition. I feel certain his mother, LaShawn, accompanied him to the gate and saw him off on the plane. I wonder if his two brothers and two sisters were with him as well or if they were in school that morning.

But the point of this project is to celebrate the life of Rodney Dickens. Rodney sounds a lot like your typical 11-year old kid. He liked Pokemon, computer game and playing with his siblings.

Over at legacy.com, there are many pages of tributes to Rodney and the many other victims of 9/11. One that jumped out at me in reading the many posts was this one from Chief Warrant Office Rob Wallace.
Dear Dickens Family, My name is Chief Warrant Officer Rob Wallace, you may remember me as Staff Sergeant Wallace, US Marines Corps. I was the escort for your family at the memorial service in DC. I want you to know that I think of you all often as well as Rodney. I have told my kids of what I can remeber about that day and also told them about Rodney. Although I did not get a chance to meet him, I got to know him through you all and that had profound impact on my life as a father. You were all such wonderful people. We have your entire family in our prayers often. I would love to keep in touch if possible. All my love, Rob Wallace.
In honor of all the victims of 9/11 a quilt has been created. The quilt will be exhibited in Staten Island, NY Sept. 9-11 and in Radnor, PA Sept. 15-17. I recommend you surf over and look at it, not only the part that focus on Rodney, but also that of all of the victims.

Today as we all remember the horrible events of 9/11, I ask that you take a moment to think about Rodney Dickens. To Rodney's family and friends, I offer my profound condolences on your loss and my thoughts and prayers will be with you today. I cannot imagine the loss you must have felt that day and still continue to feel. I hope that this blog post offers some comfort to you and a promise that Rodney will never be forgotten.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 9/11/2006 12:01:00 AM | |
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