Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Project 2,996: Remember Christopher Zarba

Image source
This tribute is respectfully reposted from 2014.

Christopher R. Zarba, Jr. was born with music in his blood. The 47-year old from Hopkinton, Massachussetts was the son of a composer/piano teacher, the nephew of a talented vocalist, and grew to be an accomplished pianist and French horn player who played with local symphonies when he was free from his work as a software engineer.

A man who never stopped learning, Christopher spoke fluent German and Italian, painted, gardened, and considered algebra and calculus books "pleasure" reading.

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His wife, Sheila -- also a horn player -- and son, also named Christopher, were a source of joy for Zarba. I watched this compilation of home videos, edited by Sheila, with a smile and tears. The love Christopher shows for his family shines through. You'll see him smiling, playing with his son, and being a bit of a goofball at times. For some reason, I noticed a Band-Aid on his thumb in one of the videos, and it made him even more real to me.



Early the morning of September 11, 2001, Christopher boarded American Airlines Flight 11 for a rare business trip in California. At 8:46am EST, the plane crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

I'm honored to remember Christopher in life -- that husband, father, son, brother and friend who made silly faces in the mirror, occasionally injured a thumb, created beauty in his life through music, painting and gardening, and never stopped learning about the world around him.

Thank you, Christopher, for the life you lived, and for reminding all of us to truly LIVE.


This tribute is part of Project 2,996, a cooperative online effort to keep alive the memories of the 2,996 victims of the 9/11/01 tragedy. See other participants, and their tributes to those lost, here.

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Project 2,996: Remember Renee Newell

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This tribute is respectfully reposted from 2014.
Have you ever had excellent customer service? The kind that brightens your day, and makes you grateful someone listens, and understands? That was the type of service Renee Newell was known to provide for her clients.

In our busy world, we often have little time to connect with cherished friends. For Renee Newell, 37, of Cranston, Rhode Island, a seminar in Las Vegas was the perfect opportunity to indulge in a girls' "getaway" with her friend, Carol Bouchard, of nearby Warwick, Rhode Island. A customer service agent with American Airlines, Renee booked a flight to Los Angeles, then on to Las Vegas, and secured a companion ticket for Carol. The women planned to stay over an extra day to see the sights of Las Vegas, hit the clubs, and tour the Strip.

At 8:46am EST, their plane -- American Airlines Flight 11 -- crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

Renee is described by those close to her as having "...a sense of humor; an eagerness to laugh." She was "a great person and a great mom," and "always had a smile at work."

Renee seemed to have a natural gift for brightening the lives of others, and perhaps that is why she followed a career path of service -- including helping out at her family's restaurant, bartending, and her work for American Airlines. She touched people's lives in a way that made a difference, so much so that customers came in from out of state to honor and remember her life at her wake.

A loving daughter to Lillian and Raymond Tetreault, Renee not only helped out at her family restaurant, but also helped when her father moved into a nursing home, and was a tireless and doting mother to her son, Matthew. She was the loving wife of Paul, and sister to Michelle, James, Robert and Steven, and a special family member or friend to so many more.

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It is an honor to remember Renee Newell today. Her story inspires me to work hard to put a smile onto the faces of my clients, to love deeply, to live boldly, and to laugh as often as possible.

This tribute is part of Project 2,996, a cooperative online effort to keep alive the memories of the 2,996 victims of the 9/11/01 tragedy. See other participants, and their tributes to those lost, here.




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Project 2,996: Remember Christian Adams

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This tribute is respectfully reposted from 2011.

Christian Adams, 37, was a resident of Biebelsheim, Germany and a well-known authority in the wine industry. Christian served as the deputy director of the German Wine Institute and director of its export department. He was father to Lukas, 7 in 2001, and Theresa, 5 in 2001, and husband to Silke.

Colleagues described Christian as quiet and thoughtful; a man who thought no job was beneath him. He'd worked his way up in the wine industry, and he was known for doing whatever job needed to be done, without hesitation - whether it was hefting cases of wine or uncorking bottles. Carol Sullivan, friend and colleague, said, "One of the things that impressed us most was his depth of knowledge."

Indeed, Christian was revered as an authority on wine, and he'd worked hard to gain his knowledge, obtaining a degree in winemaking and grape-growing from a German university and going on to earn a degree in marketing at University of California, Davis. It was at a German Wine Society convention in Los Angeles that Sullivan, director of the German Wine Information Bureau in New York, met Christian in 1989. Wine Institute officials were so impressed with him, they asked him to help with a symposium on Riesling grapes later that year. He met the director of the Institute at that event, who hired Christian to work in the export division. Christian worked his way up to deputy director in 1995.

Dedicated to keeping fit, Christian enjoyed playing and watching volleyball and basketball and - while known for his quiet demeanor - he enjoyed a good laugh or joke with friends.

Photo source

Christian also ran a winery owned by his wife's family, and September was a busy time for winemaking. Still, the calendar of holidays allowed him to break away from his obligations to attend two wine events in the United States in 2001 - one in New York, which ended September 10, and the other in San Francisco, scheduled to begin on the 13th. It was the second event Christian was headed for when he boarded United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001.

Flight 93 was hijacked by terrorists and crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after an attempt by crew and passengers to reclaim control of the plane.

Today, I'm asking you join me in remembering the quiet, motivated young husband and father who was Christian Adams. Please say a prayer for his family and loved ones. Christian, you are not forgotten.

This tribute is part of Project 2,996, a cooperative online effort to keep alive the memories of the 2,996 victims of the 9/11/01 tragedy. See other participants, and their tributes to those lost, here.

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Project 2,996: Remember Christoffer Carstanjen

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This tribute is respectfully reposted from 2014.

Christoffer Carstanjen boarded United Flight 175 intending to take a vacation, headed for San Diego, where he was scheduled to attend a motorcycle rally. He was 33 years old on September 11, 2001, a culinary chef and carpenter who built his own home.

A dancer from a young age, Christoffer was a member of the Country Dance and Song Society and the Marlboro Morris Men dancers, where team members nicknamed him "Mr. Wonderful." As one fellow dancer put it, "I looked forward to dancing with Chris because I knew he'd keep me laughing the whole time, and he'd swing so fast I felt like I would fly away."

Christoffer appears to have truly lived life, throwing himself into his passions, and making far-reaching goals for the future, including building a boat and learning to sail it, and establishing a live-in college for senior citizens.

A resident of Turner Falls, Massachusetts, and a computer research specialist for the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Christoffer was part of an internet motorcycle forum, where he earned the nickname "Captain Tupperware," a reference to the brightly-colored Honda motorbike he loved.

When researching Christoffer's life, I found this quote, taken from his website, which I think truly defines his outlook on life:

Best of all.....
Keep healthy, wealthy and wise. Your job is important, but don't live for just your job! Keep active and an open mind. Practice random acts of kindness. Compliment someone each day. Listen to all sides of a story before making a decision. Don't be afraid to admitting on being wrong. Learn the meaning of Life. Try, please try, to live within your means. Don't worry about saving money for your kids' college costs, it means lots more if they pay their own way. Save at least 15% of what you make for retirement. Try to meet someone new everyday. Ann Landers really means well. Plan for the future. Listen and surround yourself with positive people and speakers. Don't let the turkeys get you down. Write when you get work. :-)

Take care,
Christoffer

We should all be so lucky to know who we are, and what we want out of life. Ride on, Christoffer. You are remembered, today and always.


This tribute is part of Project 2,996, a cooperative online effort to keep alive the memories of the 2,996 victims of the 9/11/01 tragedy. See other participants, and their tributes to those lost, here.


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Project 2,996: Remember Samantha Lightbourn-Allen

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This tribute is respectfully reposted from 2014.

Samantha Lightbourn-Allen, 36, was a Budget Analyst for the Department of the Army at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. A devoted mother to John, Jr. (born in June 1985) and Samantha Brittnie (born on Christmas Day, 1988), she'd returned to work just four days earlier following a business trip and combined family vacation to Miami, Key West, and Disney World.
Samantha and her daughter. Photo source
A devout Christian, Samantha sang in her church choir, supported her children's activities such as Girl Scouts, and looked forward to retiring from the government, as her father had done.

Samantha graduated from high school in 1982 in the top five percent of her class, and went on to major in Business Administration at Prince George's Community College.

From childhood, Samantha loved Disney World and amusement parks, and was described as full of life and telling jokes. Her twin sister, Rennea, nicknamed her "Sennea."

Samantha (front) and her twin sister,
Rennea, at 7 months of age. Photo source

Family members describe Samantha as carefree; not prone to worry. "She just felt when it was your time, it was your time and worrying about it wouldn't change things anyway," her mother, Rebecca Lightbourn said.

I remember Samantha Lightbourn-Allen, and pray for peace for her loved ones.


This tribute is part of Project 2,996, a cooperative online effort to keep alive the memories of the 2,996 victims of the 9/11/01 tragedy. See other participants, and their tributes to those lost, here.



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Project 2,996: Remember Shannon Lewis Adams

Photo from Legacy.com
This tribute is respectfully reposted from 2014.

Much like myself, Shannon Lewis Adams, 25, grew up in a small town (Star Lake, New York). Like mine, Shannon's graduating class was less than three dozen students. He had a longstanding dream to leave his small hometown, in search of something bigger.

That dream landed him on the 101st floor of Tower One in the World Trade Center, as a fixed-income account at Cantor Fitzgerald. His mother, Gwyn Adams, reported he was so proud of his new career in the big city, having come from a town without a single stoplight. He set up a bachelor pad with friends in Astoria, complete with a huge fish tank, a big-screen television and a wall full of music.

According to his father, Lew Adams, "He was going 100 miles an hour all the time, it seems like. The city seemed to satisfy that a lot better than the northern Adirondacks."

Classmate Seth Adam Stuart described Shannon as "...pure fun," a living life to the fullest, and trying to make everyone around him happy with his wide grin.

Perhaps, because I come from a tiny town with no stoplights, and graduated with a class of 24 students, I imagine the pride and feeling of success Shannon must have experienced when he arrived in New York City. I am glad he was able to reach for that dream, and saddened that his success was cut short. I hope, as Shannon's best friend, Brad Siskavich, suggests, family and friends are able to "...remember the positives as opposed to the fact that he's just not here anymore."

I know, for me, I picture Shannon's compassion and hard work. I imagine him playing hockey with friends. I envision how he made people smile, just by sharing his life and his heart.

This tribute is part of Project 2,996, a cooperative online effort to keep alive the memories of the 2,996 victims of the 9/11/01 tragedy. See other participants, and their tributes to those lost, here.


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Project 2,996: Remember CeeCee Lyles

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This tribute is respectfully reposted from 2011.

To be honest, I chose the name CeeCee Lyles because our family nickname for Snugglebug is "SeeSee." I was initially compelled to write Mrs. Lyles's story simply because of her name, but what I found in my research was the story of a mother, a wife, and a hero.

CeeCee was a 33-year-old resident of Fort Myers, Florida who'd fulfilled a lifelong dream in becoming a flight attendant after years of police work that took her from patrol officer to detective. In her law enforcement work, she was respected for "for her willingness to tackle fleeing criminals." A single mother, CeeCee provided for her two sons by working multiple jobs while still finding time to volunteer for a Christian women's shelter. In 1997, she began a relationship with police dispatcher Lorne Lyles, and the two married in 2000. It was the second marriage for both of them, and Lorne brought his own two sons to the family, making CeeCee and Lorne the proud parents of four.

People described CeeCee as an easygoing woman who loved to talk and enjoyed people. She was thoughtful, kind and caring. How natural that when United Flight 93 was overtaken by hijackers, she'd reach out to her family. CeeCee's cell phone call to her husband reveals her professional training. She is calm, explaining the situation. Still, toward the end, the heart of a wife and mother comes through clearly - her words are tinged with emotion and love.



At 10:03:11, Flight 93 crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after an attempt by passengers and crew to reclaim the plane. It has been presumed that the intended target of the hijacked plane was the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Shortly before the crash, CeeCee called her husband again, telling him that passengers were preparing to force their way into the cockpit.

It is unclear whether the brave passengers and crew were successful in breaching the cockpit, but it has been established that the hijackers knew of their efforts and heard the heroes coming.

I imagine CeeCee Lyles passed on to heaven as she lived - taking care of others, calming and soothing them while remaining vigilant and seeing that an attempt at rescue was made.

Four sons, a loving husband and many co-workers, family members and friends were left behind to miss and remember CeeCee. I hope you'll remember not only this beautiful, brave woman, but her loved ones, as well, in your prayers.
Photo source


Thank you, CeeCee, for your service and sacrifice. You are not forgotten.


This tribute is part of Project 2,996, a cooperative online effort to keep alive the memories of the 2,996 victims of the 9/11/01 tragedy. See other participants, and their tributes to those lost, here.
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Project 2,996: Remember Krystine C. Bordenabe

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This tribute is respectfully reposted from 2011.

On September 11, 2001, Krystine C. Bordenabe was a 33-year-old resident of Old Bridge, New Jersey, working in the south tower of the World Trade Center, and - at eight months pregnant - was looking forward to leaving her job after maternity leave to become a full-time mother to her new baby and then-13-year-old son named Andrew.

Krystine and her husband, Alfredo, had been married just over a year, and were excitedly awaiting the arrival of their first child together. Prior to their marriage, Krystine had been a devoted single mother to Andrew, and was counting down the weeks until she'd resign from her job as a sales assistant at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods to stay at home with her children.

Alfredo and Krystine dated a few times during high school, but lost touch afterward. Then, years later, Krystine attended a men's soccer game, at which Alfredo was playing. The two renewed their friendship, and married in 2000.
Photo source
Krystine attended Chubb Institute in Jersey City, graduating as valedictorian. She loved helping others, being a mother, baking, cooking, and the occasional indulgence in a pair of stylish shoes.

A doting husband who looked after his wife with love and concern, Alfredo called his wife as he traveled to work the morning of September 11, 2001. He'd heard on the radio that a plane had crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. Krystine assured him she was safe in the south tower, and that workers were being told to stay in the building.

Minutes later, a second plane - United Flight 175 - smashed into the south tower.

In a moment, Alfredo lost both his beloved wife and their unborn baby, and Andrew lost his mother and sibling. Please, remember Alfredo and Andrew in your prayers, as well as those who loved and cared for Krystine, and the child she carried with her to heaven.

This tribute is part of Project 2,996, a cooperative online effort to keep alive the memories of the 2,996 victims of the 9/11/01 tragedy. See other participants, and their tributes to those lost, here.


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Project 2,996: Remember Norma Lang Steuerle

Photo source
This tribute is respectfully reposted from 2014.

Norma Lang Steuerle, of Alexandria, Virgina, drove her convertible with the top down, relished a day at the beach, and loved reading and travel. She lived with an energy and zest that others admired.

Norma was 54 years old on September 11, 2001. A clinical psychologist working with women and children suffering with depression and ADHD, she was described as "a particularly gifted therapist" who deeply connected with her clients, putting them at ease and providing undivided attention.

While she was singularly-focused in her profession, friends and family describe her as constantly busy, doing everything with enthusiasm and purpose, whether she was volunteering for causes she believed in, dedicating time and talent to Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, or attending sporting events when her daughters - Lynne and Kristin - were in school.

She attended Dayton University, then graduated at the top of her class from Carnegie Mellon University with a degree in psychology. She received a master's degree from Temple University, and her PhD. in social psychology from University of Wisconsin Madison in 1975.

According to friends, Norma met her husband, Gene, while attending Dayton. The two dated for a while, but Norma broke off the relationship, "left Dayton to be closer to another guy, and to attend Carnegie-Mellon." Apparently, after realizing the error of her ways - and giving full credit for Gene's persistence - the two were married after he returned from Vietnam in 1970.

The couple's first daughter, Kristin, was born in 1973, and their second, Lynne, followed in 1977.

Norma's family brought her great joy and pride, and she was excited to board American Airlines Flight 77, which would take her through the first leg of a trip during which she planned to meet up with her daughter, Kristin, a Navy doctor in Okinawa. She'd then connect with Gene, who was traveling in Japan on business. Together, the three planned to visit Thailand, where the couple would celebrate their 31st wedding anniversary.

Flight 77 was hijacked and, at 9:37 a.m. on September 11, 2001, crashed into the Pentagon.

Please pray for Norma's family and friends, who lost a vibrant part of their lives on that tragic day.

This tribute is part of Project 2,996, a cooperative online effort to keep alive the memories of the 2,996 victims of the 9/11/01 tragedy. See other participants, and their tributes to those lost, here.

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Project 2,996: Remember Pendyala "Vamsi" Vamsikrishna and Prasanna Kalahasthi - a Victim of Grief

Photo source
This tribute is respectfully reposted from 2011.

Pendyala Vamsikrishna, "Vamsi" to friends, was 30 years old on September 11, 2001. A project manager for the consulting firm of DTI, he was a talented software developer.

Vamsi and his wife, Prasanna Kalahasthi, like most young couples, had dreams and plans for their future. Both from India, they'd moved to the United States to pursue education and career opportunities - Vamsi to study engineering, and Prasanna to attend USC as a grad student in the International Student Program for Foreign-Trained Dentists. Brought together by an arranged marriage, the two were lucky enough to truly find love and devotion in one another, and had been married two and a half years in September 2001. They'd planned to start a family, had received their green cards, and dove into their pursuits in the U.S.

A devoted employee known for his strong work ethic, Vamsi had been in Boston for business and ended up staying an extra day, missing his original flight. On Tuesday, September 11, he left a voicemail for Prasanna, telling her he'd be home to Los Angeles soon:

Hi, sweetie, I've just boarded the flight, and I'll see you in Los Angeles this afternoon.

Vasmi never made it. His plane, American Airlines Flight 11, was the first to strike the World Trade Center, crashing into the north tower at 08:46:26.

Photo source

On October 19, 2001, Prasanna took her own life, leaving behind notes and an audio recording for her family, stating she just couldn't go on without her husband.

All I want is for you people to understand and respect me for what I'm doing. It's a lot, I know... But I'm responding to this in the only way I can bring peace to myself.

I chose Vasmi's name blindly from a list. Within minutes, I knew I had to include his young wife - and the tragic end to both beautiful, promising lives - in this tribute. Please, pray for the families and friends of Vasmi and Prasanna. Years may have passed, but this loving couple must not be forgotten.

This tribute is part of Project 2,996, a cooperative online effort to keep alive the memories of the 2,996 victims of the 9/11/01 tragedy. See other participants, and their tributes to those lost, here.




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