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In Honor of Lizette Mendoza

It was certainly a day I’ll remember more than any other, however hazy the memories become, simply because of the intense emotion surrounding what we all witnessed. But the intensity I felt is merely a shadow of what anyone would have experienced in New York that day, the 11th of September, 2001.

When I first heard of Project 2,996 I felt that I needed to participate in some way in order to honor the memory of those who lost their lives. I was assigned Lizette Mendoza, and I must admit that finding information on this individual seemed like an extremely daunting task simply because I did not want to dishonor her memory. So here goes.

Lizette was in New York on that crisp, clear morning, at work on the 105th floor of the WTC where the Aon Corporation was located; this is where she disappeared. She began her day as usual, on this Tuesday, without knowing that it might be her last. Afterall, it was a Tuesday, the week was really just beginning.

What more we might gather about her disappearance is not important, but what is important is that those who knew her, loved her dearly and enjoyed her passion and devotion to her children.

I know that she graduated from High School the year I was born, putting us at vastly different ranges of life experience, perhaps at the low end of being old enough to have been my mother.

She died at the age of 33, when I was just nearing the end of my high school career. I would go on that day and finish classes, attend football practice, and go on to play Friday night with a touching tribute to the events of that previous Tuesday. But, I did not have a connection to that day, until now, that made it real for me at that time.

I will honor Lizette today, in the hopes that her memory, and the memory of everyone else who lost their lives that day and in the war to follow, will not be forgotten.