Monday, September 11, 2006

2996, The Victims of 9/11/01

How do you write a testimonial about someone you do not know? How do you do justice to their life, and their untimely death?

I didn't know David P. Kovalcin. Until the day I registered to participate in the 2996 tribute, his name was just that. A name among all the others who perished on 9/11.

Now truthfully, the devastation of that fateful event is not a memory I carry on a daily basis. Yeah, sure, we fly the American flag on the front of my home. Yeah, sure, I earnestly support our troops wherever they may be. And yeah, sure, I understand the price of freedom is sometimes very high.

But I didn't personally know anyone who died that day. I didn't lose a friend then. I didn't lose a loved one then. So, unlike his family and close friends and associates, I didn't grieve for him. I didn't mourn for him.

And I don't want to do that now.

When I first signed up for this, I did so, because as the victim of another historical national disaster, albeit a survivor, I wanted to help ensure that this tragedy, this event, this date, September 11, 2001, was never forgotten.

The whole purpose of this 2996 tribute is to make sure no one forgets. Everyone "remember(s) the Alamo" don't they?

But I don't just want to remember their deaths. What I would like to do is to remind folks of the LIVES of those who perished that day. Celebrate their contributions, however many, however few. And make it more personal. If not for you, it will be for me.

So right now, I want to share and remember and honor the life of David P. Kovalcin.

Again, when I started, I didn't know David. But in reading what I could find about him, I realized, surprisingly enough, we have some things in common.

Hmmm. You know what I think about coincidences.

You see, David was only 42 when he died. I'm now 42. We graduated from college the same year, '85. We both own/ed at least one dog. And at the time, I, like him, had some fish. I think pet people are good people.

We both have at least one daughter, (he had two, Rebecca and Marina, now approximately ages 9 and 6.) And even more interesting, his wife is named Elizabeth, a significant name for me.... I was supposed to name my daughter Elizabeth.

Oh and I have a nephew named David. The parallels amaze me.

And something else.... we both like/d to draw on steamy bathroom mirrors - pictures or messages that would "reappear" for the next bather. From what I gleaned, his wife carries on that habit. 'Ghost writings', the news reports said. We call them the same thing in our house.

David was on the American Airlines, Flight 11. That's the flight that left Boston for L.A. and the first used in the September 11 attacks. This is the plane that was deliberately flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.

I can recall that I had just dropped my daughter off at school and was only blocks away when I heard the news on the radio about the first plane crash. At that moment I was tempted to turn around and check her out of school and spend the day with her. Holding her. Being with her. Loving her.

I cried the whole way to work. "OMG" "How horrible." "Those poor poor people." And the more I thought about them and their families and their losses, the more I wanted just to hold MY child. And be with MY loved ones.

I can only imagine.... well no, honestly, I can't even begin to imagine the thoughts running through the minds of the passengers on those planes. Or how worried their families must be - wondering if that was their flight. Their plane. Their personal disaster.

Although I can believe that most passengers were thinking about their most cherished loved ones. From all reports, David was a family man. I'm sure that his wife and girls were in his last thoughts. And perhaps prayers.

I've read many posts about the victims of 9/11. And of course, they say many favorable things about them. People would write wonderfully sentimental messages about their friends, co-workers, family. Reminiscing, fondly recalling things from the past.

I wonder if those who died, knew how important their contributions were. How meaningful their relationships were. How much their presence touched the lives of those left behind.

If anything, I've learned that we need to let the living know how much we appreciate and love them. While they are still here to hear it. The compliments. The applause. The tributes.

I think David was like that. I read that he wrote a note to his family before he left for that fateful trip. He told them how much he would miss them. I think David would echo my sentiments here.

I'm now sorry that I didn't actually know David P. Kovalcin. But now, I will always remember. There's a life behind the name. It's become more personal for me.

And David Kovalcin, it's been an honor to have met you.


  • At 9:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What a wonderful tribute for David and his family. Just trying to visit as many of my fellow 2,996 bloggers

  • At 9:43 PM, Blogger Queen of the Universe said…

    Thank you, Amy, for stopping by as well as for the kind words.

  • At 10:46 PM, Blogger debambam said…

    That was just beautiful. I too tried to make this a personal experience, and found myself doing just that. Being from Australia didn't mean that this tragedy didn't hurt as much or touch us as deeply. It just made it harder to DO something. My tribute was one small, inadequate way of contributing at least something. I think you've done an amazing job of making David come to life for those of us who never had the honor of meeting him.
    Cheers, Kelly
    I remember Marisa DiNardo

  • At 11:15 PM, Blogger MrsGreenThumb said…

    I joined the Yahoo group of bloggers for the 2996 project. Yours is the first on the list, I am trying to visit every tribute. It is truly amazing how personal you can feel about someone you've never met. You have written a beautiful tribute.

    Stop by an read my post about Catherine A. Nardella who died on 9/11/01. Too young, to soon. She was an amazing young woman.

  • At 7:09 AM, Blogger Donna. W said…

    Well done!

  • At 10:28 AM, Blogger bernie said…

    Moving. It so hard to read all these tributes, but I'm tryng - mine is 2996 tribute to victims of 9/11 - Terrence E Adderley

    I've linked to your tribute.

  • At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Very nice tribute! thank you for taking part in it!

  • At 3:09 PM, Blogger Suzi said…

    I appreciated your introduction to David. I am so sad for his girls that they lost him so early.

    We must never forget. We must remember.

    And you are right, the people of our tributes have gone beyond a name. Now when we see their faces, hear their names, I expect our hearts will catch in our throats. Like mine did reading this. Like mine did writing about Laura Gilly.

  • At 6:06 PM, Blogger brian said…

    Thank you for sharing this personal tribute that means so much to us all. Wonderful post and writings.

    Please stop by my tribute for Gilbert and leave a link so that others can come here to read.

  • At 6:22 PM, Blogger Kate said…

    This is a lovely tribute to a wonderful man. Thank you for helping him to live on in our collective memories.

  • At 6:56 PM, Blogger Tug said…

    The tears just keep coming. Wonderful job. Thanks for visiting mine also.

  • At 9:23 PM, Blogger Lonnie said…

    It has been a long time since I have cried this much...

    Great job...

    Lon from China

  • At 10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You did a wonderful job! Thank you so much for sharing David with us.

  • At 2:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is a lovely tribute,thanks for sharing with us...I've been crying and thinking about the day...With my tribute.We were the same age too,have kids...After i've post it...Then when i visited her guess book, i found out that our names were the same(Raquel,She just had a different spelling)...How's that!!!
    9-11 will always be remembered...It will stay in our hearts forever...
    God Blesss...:)

    Mine is:Rachel Tamares

  • At 8:22 AM, Blogger Jana said…

    A beautiful tribute. Thank you.

  • At 11:24 AM, Blogger Kirsten said…

    I, too, think you did a wonderful tribute....its a hard day, reading all these tributes...but, I think thats the good thing...Remembering each and every victim...all of us bloggers united in one goal..
    Thanks sooo much

  • At 10:01 PM, Blogger Kami said…

    Wonderful tribute for David. THANK YOU.

  • At 11:34 PM, Blogger David Edward said…

    tell someone you love them, while you can. what a great lesson!


  • At 4:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What strikes me about many of these people is how they had so much going for them - how loved they were - how they brightened others' lives. It makes the loss that much deeper. That loving and beautiful energy is no longer here.

    I'm sorry I never knew him either.

  • At 5:56 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    I joined the Army and went to Afghanistan because of David and what his family has to go through. I wanted to make those responsible pay, and I did that.


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