Friday, September 08, 2006

I remember Marjorie C. Salamone


I am participating in the 9/11 tribute started by D. Challener Roe. Here is a little background about this wonderful project:

2,996 is a tribute to the victims of 9/11.

On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11. Each person will pay tribute to a single victim.

We will honor them by remembering their lives, and not by remembering their murderers.


I Remember Marjorie C. Salamone
Pentagon

I can’t even believe it’s been five years since the September 11 tragedy. It seems to be my generation’s Pearl Harbor although WWII did have an end. There appears to be no end in sight to the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Five long years that Marjorie’s family has missed and mourned her. She was a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister. Marjorie worked at the Pentagon as a budget program analyst for the U.S. Army.

I didn’t know Marjorie but just looking at her picture, at her smile that reaches her eyes and her fiery hair, I have to think, “What a fun person she must have been. I bet she had a great sense of humor.” She looks sweet, gentle, and kind. It’s unreal to look at this picture and know that she is dead. I feel quite inadequate writing a tribute to her and I realize that I cannot even begin to do her justice; I was allowed just a glimpse of what a wonderful woman she was as I wrote this.

Marjorie grew up on a dairy farm in the small town of Pine Mountain, Georgia. She was an excellent student and graduated early from high school at the age of 16. Her brother, Dr. Richard Champion, was four years older than Marjorie and said she was solving his algebra problems when she was in the fifth grade. Marjorie attended Auburn University, graduating with an undergraduate degree in Textile Chemistry and a Masters in Textile Science. She met her husband Bernard in organic chemistry class at Auburn. "She was warm, compassionate -- a brilliant intellect, he said." They followed Auburn football passionately, even calling back to the states to see how the team was doing when they were in Alaska.

Marjorie was devoted to her daughters, Ann Marie and Amanda, who were 24 and 22, respectively, at the time of her death. She was a constant presence at their schools when they were growing up. She was thinking of Amanda on September 11, whom she helped move to New York just two weeks earlier. From her Manhattan office window a mile from the World Trade Center, Amanda saw the planes hit the towers and called her mother at the Pentagon in D.C. Marjorie comforted her and left a message on her husband’s voice mail: Amanda is safe. That is the last time he heard her voice.

Marjorie was a federal employee for 26 years and had worked in the Pentagon for the last ten. She had just moved into her current office in the E-ring a month before September 11. Her office was on the first floor, the exact area where American Airlines Flight 77 crashed. No one in her office survived.

Marjorie’s husband of more than 30 years, Dr. Ben Salamone, retired colonel in the U.S. Army, said she told him she wanted to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. She received a traditional military funeral and the Pentagon can be seen from her gravesite.

"She was judged quickly. Now, she's in heaven with the Lord," said Dr. Salamone. It’s obvious how much she was loved; her husband said, "Right after we married, we traveled for 30 years, so, in essence, we had a 30-year honeymoon. We had a wonderful time." He continued, "My wife was a very loving person, and I sincerely miss her. I saved all the letters and cards and notes she ever wrote me. One day, I'll let my daughters see them."

The “C” of Marjorie’s middle name stands for Champion. How appropriate.








IF YOU HAVE WRITTEN A 9/11 TRIBUTE - AND ONLY IF - ENTER YOUR NAME AND LINK BELOW SO I CAN VISIT YOUR SITE. OTHERWISE, I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU IN COMMENTS. Click here to see a complete list of tributes.

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