Archive for the '2996 Tribute' Category

9/11 – Ten Years Later – My Reflections

September 11th, 2011 by xformed

That day I was retired from the Navy, way in the rear, without any gear of helpfulness to those on the front lines. So, where I was, suffice it to say, I remember, but it wasn’t off significance to the big picture.

That day/event shattered a major belief structure I had held since the summer of 1988: Major, large scale wars have no place in the post Cold War World…think about it: The issues are no longer taking over crop land, but the economic might of the “competing” nations. To go for the scortced earth, have an artillery division take 3 feet of dirt off a sqaure mile does nothing to preserve the economic resources you’re coveting.

After 9 months at War College, reading much more history, to add to the many tomes already ingested, I was thinking we’d be more in the “staring each other down” mode in the future. Prepared to fight, but not doing it in a big way. Bad outcomes on both sides, but then, I didn’t give guerilla forces much of a place in my thinking.

Then came September 11th, and the face of war in the modern era (meaning when I’m living), took a radical turn: A religiously based, ideologially driven, small group of people, not aligned with any one nation, and certainly not organized to meet the definition of the armed force of a soverign nation, without the direct or monetary support from and established nation-state, arrived on the scene, outdoing even the Japanese Naval Forces of 12/7/41, and then stood up to take a bow. Thus Al-Queda became part of the lexicon.

The “Laws of War” were not written to primarly handle this type of conflict. They were designed to “manage” the conflict between nation states, with easily identified military forces, loyal to one flag or another. Guerillas were but a side show. Certainly not without impact, but still a side show, until 9/11/01 arrived.

There went my construct on how conflict would happen in the now definitely post-BiPolar Supwer Power era.

Other things changed. How those combatants, illegal as they were, were to be handled. We got Guantanamo Bay, a place I had frequented as a training base during my time in uniform, converted into a holding facility for those we captured on the battle field. Why? By all I can rekon is we didn’t want to “go there” and handle the illegal combatants (those who were armed and attacking US troops, yet without an identified national uniform or affiliation), and summarily execute them where they were captured. It’s allowed, but, by being compassionate (I’m all in on this one), we then ended up with a situation on our hands as how to ensure justice was done. You know the history of that discussion, which still isn’t completed (despite a pledge to handle this from the current Commander-in-Chief).

We now, as an entire society, began looking over our shoulders, and eyeing suspicious acts of any one around us. Top it off with pre-suspecting every single air passenger as a real possibility of being a hijacker not wanting cash, like D.B. Cooper. On top of the untold billions invested in equipment to clearly show we trusted no one citizen of our nation, the tremendous loss of productivity we have suffered, which I suspect will never be calculated, but it is clearly a cost we have incurred by having to arrive earlier, sit longer, just to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Along the way, we developed an extreme phobia of telling someone else something that might hurt their feelings, such as “If you’re willing to consider killing us for your ideology, we’re willing to try to kill you first to prevent it.”

The phobia then extended to ensure we didn’t inflame those who, by their deeds, had already shown they were upset by us.

And, along the way, it has become acceptable to determine something that happened in the name of Christianity in the 2nd millenia AD, was a workable rationale to give a pass to those who began mass killings in the name of Allah, like the modern world, was still in the Middle East doing something other than run of the mill economic trade and business.

On top of that, while trying to shut out Chritianity as the root cause of the attacker’s anger, therefore justified (in some circles), we have been told to even think someone who subscribes to a faith that clearly has scriptures detailing the destruction of the “infidels,” is Islamophobic and is a crime of hate.

Excuse me, but slaughtering just anyone in their way, Christians, Hindus, Buddists, atheists and Muslims alike is a hate crime to me, but I’m being “intolerant” of saying killing for killings sake is a hateful thing.

Enough of that, so onto a set of rhetorical issues befuddle me:

I’m really missing the point of those who say we “over reacted” or, as on man put it a about a month ago, “we went to war for no reason.” Getting on board with those, like President Clinton, and the early version of President Obama (and I disagree with this, but it helps address the people who think war was not the answer): I’d like to ask them how they have reacted when they are told that a serial murderer is on the loose in their area. I know, as we see this all the time, from both sides of the aisle politically, they demand the law enforcement not rest until the person responsible is found and brought to justice. They want dragnets and sweeps and police to protect them from the threat of being next, and have no problem “judging” the murderer without a trial. So my question would be: What if 2996 people were murdered and that person announced that they had done it and they would do it again, and again, until they had their way with all of you? I think I know the reaction, but the craziness here is they somehow think the 2996 lives lost on 9/11 was no call to action to find those who did it and remove the capability for it to happen anymore, particularly in of the continued statements of future attacks, let alone having seen the actual carnage all over the world, in Europe, India, the Middle East, Malasia, and more places. What kind of a society would we be, saying we are a nation of laws, who turned our backs on that tragedy of 9/11 and said “we can’t respond, we had it coming to us.”?

Anyhow, much has changed. Politicians are fearful of making waves, because we can’t hurt feelings. Small organizations get people to belive they have a big voice, then proceed to peddle disinformation, and we are told they are the experts and do not question tham (side note: We somehow hate corporate lobbyists doing the same thing, but once again, when it’s from an outside force, we must now bow and scape in their general direction, so they don’t do it again…but wait: They tell us they will and then we still cower).

On top of that, it has become fashionable to ask the person on the street their opinion, on complex matters, and honor their answers. We’re not getting any smarter, as seen by standardized tesing, and revisionist history, yet somehow we have to hear from those who lack even a modicum of understanding, as if they are all expert scholars on the subject.

And my last item before stopping rambling: I heard it this morning. On the about to be dedicated “Peace Pole,” the message of “peace on earth” was done in four languages, and particularly in English, as “we need to hera it the most.” I may have missed it, but Arabic native speakers attacked us on 9/11, and have done so for many more years, thankfully overseas, and “we” need to hear it most inplies very strongly we were the cause. And, by the way, the other three languages didn’t include Arabic. At the services, the same leader read a letter from a very close friend who has very recently served in Afghanistan about his year’s tour. The Army Captain was obviously in Civial Affairs, as he was in charge of getting wells put in for the people. In his letter he mentioned, how during his tour, he was amazed at the massive out pouring of help from people all over the US, mostly strnagers to him, to all him to deliver school supplies and so much more to the chldren of Afghanistan. The majority of the letter reiterated how he couldn’t fully comprehend this help sent to a far away US population to people they didn’t even know, just because it was a gift….and “we” who speak English need to hear about “peace on earth” more.

When was the last time the Taliban send school supplies to the mid-West after the tornados, or the mid-Atlantic and North Eastern States in the awake of the hurricane?

So, yes, things have changed. And some people have still not bothered to fully understand we didn’t attack because we “over reacted,” we did it beacuse 2996 people are no longer there to continue conducting “peace on Earth” operations, as they were doing that morning, ten years ago.

Category: 2996 Tribute, Geo-Political, History, INternational Relations, Leadership, Military, Military History, Political, Stream of Consciousness | 1 Comment »

Project 2996: CAPT Gerald DeConto, USN

September 9th, 2011 by xformed

I didn’t know him, yet our service times crossed, and career paths were the same: Surface Warfare Officers.

He died on 9/11/2001 in the Pentagon. He had made his way up the ranks from his graduation from the Naval Academy in 1979, to having had command of the USS SIMPSON (FFG-56).

When he died that day, ten years ago, he already was taking action as a result of the attack on the US. As reported in the Washington Post:

As director of the current operations and plans branch of the Navy Command Center, Capt. Gerald F. DeConto, 44, was organizing the Navy’s response to the World Trade Center attack when he died in the crash at the Pentagon.

In the aggregate of the comments in an online guest book for the victims of 9/11, I’d say this: He respected and was respected by those who served with him and he would go out of his way to help a shipmate move ahead in life.

I see he was the Executive Officer of the USS LAKE EIRE (CG-70), not just any old Executive Officer’s job. I was in a pre-commissioning crew as a division officer, and I had had my fill of the non-naval duties required in such an assignment. CAPT DeConto obviously was up to that challenge, and a commenter in the guest book indicated he did well.

That had to be a quite an assignment, but he had several challenging ones, beginning with his assignment to the mine sweeper USS EXCEL (MSO-439) right out of the Academy. Those are small ships, and the crew is as well, but all the duties of a large ship happen on a small shop, too. The junior officers on small ships learn a lot fast.

A native of Sandwich, MA, he had been blessed to have spent the weekend prior to 9/11/2001 with his mother. That, given the naval life, was quite a blessing from my view.

CAPT DeConto, thank you for your service and sacrifice.

Category: 2996 Tribute, History, Leadership, Maritime Matters, Military, Military History, Navy | 3 Comments »

Project 2996-2009: William J. Dimmling, SVP, Marsh McLennon Companies

September 11th, 2009 by xformed

In memorium:

William J Dimmling was a Senior Vice President Financial Systems with Marsh McLennon Companies. He was one of the 295 employees of this firm who were lost his day, in their offices between the 93rd and 100th floors of the North Tower. сборник картинок эротика

He went by “Bill” and his colleague Harry Carel says Bill always had a smile on his face, no matter what came his way.

47 years old, at the time of his death in the World Trade Center North Building attack. He was a resident of Garden City, NY [ed: corrected]. He is survived by his wife Leslie and sons, Gregory and Nicholas.

He grew up in Queens, NY, attending PS115 and JHS 172, playing sports with his friends and dating. Back then, he went by “Willie.”

Work came early for Bill. His father, who had immigrated to the US from Germany was a butcher. His father died suddenly when he was 18, leaving him as head of his household, having to take care of his mother and his brother Rudy. The article in the NY Times indicates this was the genesis for Bill’s love of life, and optimism, and drive.

He had just completed a joint financial reporting system for Marsh, Inc the week before the attack, a project which he completed by fostering cooperation between executives around the world.

Bob McDade called him friend for 35 years, beginning with their meeting in school in 1966, and he noted Bill welcomed new people into his life and made them feel special.

One of his former employees, Orla Horn, paid this tribute to Bill:

He was a wonderful man – full of energy, vision, commitment and resourcefulness. He was also an extremely kind and caring man – who loved his family more than anything else in the world. He had a happy disposition and always managed to overcome adversity. I’m sure all of these good traits will continue to be felt by his family and friends in the years to come as they’ll always know that Bill made a difference…Our world is a better place because of him.

High praise, indeed. I think we were deprived of the possible friendship of a wonderful man, as his family and friends have been for the past 7 years, and the rest of their lives.

For others memorialized by the Project 2996, click here.

Category: 2996 Tribute, History, Public Service | Comments Off on Project 2996-2009: William J. Dimmling, SVP, Marsh McLennon Companies

Project 2996-2009: Cortz Ghee, US Army Civil Servant

September 10th, 2009 by xformed

In memorium:

Cortz Ghee was killed on 9/11/2001 at the Pentagon, one of 184 vitims at that attack site. At the time of his death, he was a resident of Reisterstown, MD. Little is on the web, but I can find he has a sibling and at least two nieces. By a stroke of fate, his niece Kim decided to skip out on a dentist appointment on 9/11, that Cortz was due to take her to. How life may have been different for one family, had she gone that day, escorted by her Uncle?

At the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial, there is a bench named in his honor, that of a 54 year old man, at work, supporting the military by his daily work.

One of our citizens who is no longer with us or his family.

RIP, Cortz, and thank you for your service in the defense of the nation.

For others memorialized by the Project 2996, click here.

Category: 2996 Tribute, History, Public Service | Comments Off on Project 2996-2009: Cortz Ghee, US Army Civil Servant

Stop the Murdoch (Flt 93 Cresent) Memorial Blogburst

October 3rd, 2007 by xformed

Trackbacked to Cao’s blog and Error Theory.Pennsylvania Newspapers Pretend There is No Direction to MeccaIn September 2005, a half dozen different bloggers verified that a person facing into what was originally called the Crescent of Embrace memorial to Flight 93 would be facing almost exactly at Mecca. Some surrounding trees have been added to the design, but the giant central crescent remains completely intact in the Bowl of Embrace redesign:With Tom Burnett Sr. condemning the crescent design and refusing
to allow Tom Jr.’s name to be used
, there is now a big public controversy in western Pennsylvania over whether the giant crescent really is oriented on Mecca. In response, the Memorial Project has decided to deny that there is any such thing as the direction to Mecca, and Pittsburgh’s two major newspapers are both backing up this transparent falsehood.Professor Daniel Griffith, who is serving as a consultant to the Memorial Project, told the Post Gazette that: “anything can point toward Mecca, because the earth is round.” …He made similar statements to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review and the Johnstown Tribune Democrat. None of these papers asked for a second opinion from any of the one billion Muslims who face Mecca five times a day for prayer, and it isn’t that the media has been duped by Griffith.Editors and reporters at both the Post Gazette and the Tribune Review are fully aware that a host of bloggers have independently verified the Mecca orientation of the crescent design. It was actually the Tribune Review that first commissioned Professor Griffith to analyze the blogosphere’s Mecca-orientation claims. Alec Rawls, who has written a book about the many Islamic and terrorist memorializing features in the crescent design, has a copy of Griffith’s report for the Tribune Review posted online. The first thing Griffith does is calculate the direction to Mecca:

I computed an azimuth value from the Flight 93 crater site to Mecca of roughly 55.20°.

“Azimuth” is the technical term for “direction,” measured in degrees clockwise from north. Now Griffith is denying that there is any such thing as the direction to Mecca, and the Tribune Review refuses to tell its readers that Griffith is contradicting the report that he wrote for them.

The Post Gazette is even more outrageous. Rawls was told by Post Gazette reporter Paula Ward that she and her editors saw all the blog posts on the Mecca orientation of the Crescent of Embrace back in September 2005 and decided not to publish this explosive information. (Crescent of Betrayal, download 3, p. 108.) At the same time, the Post Gazette was running editorials that called critics of the crescent paranoid bigots:

But like those who look at innocent kids trick-or-treating at Halloween and see only the devil’s work, a few small and suspicious minds couldn’t look past the crescent to see a remarkably sensitive design.

When Tom Burnet Sr. asked the American people last month to please take his and Mr. Rawls’ warnings about the crescent design seriously, the Post Gazette responded with an editorial titled:
“Efforts to sully Flight 93 memorial deserve scorn.”

What is the significance of a crescent that a person faces into to face Mecca? Such a structure is called a mihrab, and is the central feature around which every mosque is built. That is why the surrounding trees added in the Bowl of Embrace redesign do nothing to alter the Islamic significance of the design. You can plant as many trees around a mosque as you want and it will still be a mosque.

One local paper actually did fact-check the orientation of the giant crescent and validated the Mecca orientation claim in print, but the larger papers are all refusing to pass this fact checking on, or to do their own, even though it is simple one-two operation. All that Tribune Democrat reporter Kirk Swauger had to do was use the Mecca direction calculator at to print out a graphic of the direction to Mecca from Somerset PA, then place this print out over the Crescent of Embrace site-plan PDF on his computer screen:

The green circle, marked with the qibla direction (the direction to Mecca), is from Graphic shows that a person standing at the midpoint between the most obtruding tips of the crescent structure and facing into the center of the crescent (red arrow), will be facing almost exactly at Mecca. (Hat tip Sarah Wells.)

As Swauger put it in his news

[Rawls’] claims seem to be backed up by coordinates for the direction of qibla from Somerset that can be found on When superimposed over the crescent in the memorial design, the midpoint points over the Arctic Circle, through Europe toward Mecca.

Having suppressed this information for two years, Pittsburgh’s major newspapers are desperate to keep it suppressed now, or they will be ruined. Thus they find themselves camped out on the very spot that the blogosphere ranged with its artillery two years ago. They know full well that the Mecca-orientation of the crescent has been verified numerous times and are counting on their
control of public information to keep this knowledge from getting out to the general public.

The challenge to bloggers could not be more overt. Can the blogosphere retrieve its earlier fact checking from the memory hole and bust these news frauds? Easy and permanent access to existing fact checking is the blogosphere’s natural advantage, but we still have to take advantage of it.

This information was also mentioned at Newsbusters here on September 27, 2007.


If you want to join us outraged protesting bloggers

  1. in objecting to planting an Islamic symbol instead of an American one on the crash site,
  2. in objecting to its pointing to Mecca and the terrorists’ intended target,
  3. in objecting to dishonoring the memory of the people who fought the terrorists on Flight 93
  4. in pointing out how Paul Murdoch cleverly and symbolically cast the passenger and crew out of the Islamic heavens in the design while the terrorists are inside the Islamic heavens
  5. in pointing out how the date and the site are dedicated to the terrorists
  6. in pointing out the numerous redundant mosque design features
  7. in pointing out the terrorist memorializing features
  8. and post along with us on Wednesdays

Please contact caoilfhionn1 at gmail dot com with your website url. She will, in turn, add you to the email list, send you the
blogroll code (if you want to put it in your sidebar), and will send you the prewritten text to post. You should receive the email from Cao a day or two prior to the Wednesday it should be posted, and tracked back to Cao’s blog and Error Theory, if your blog has that capability. This will help us track who in the blogroll is posting the blogburst.

Let’s roll.

Stop the Memorial Blogburst


Riddle me this:

What was Paul Murdoch, the design’s architect, thinking? What was his ulterior motive? When controversy over the original name “Crescent of Embrace” and the bald Islamic symbol planted on the crash site brought a public outcry, the entire memorial was hastily re-titled “40 Memorial Groves.”

As Alec is apt to do, he’s having some fun with this: So why only 38 Memorial Groves?

His answer should appear today at Error Theory, go check it out!

Trackedback @: Cao’s Blog and Error Theory

Category: 2996 Tribute, Blogging, Geo-Political, Leadership, Political, Public Service | Comments Off on Stop the Murdoch (Flt 93 Cresent) Memorial Blogburst

Medal of Freedom Petition for “Rick” Rescorla

September 11th, 2007 by xformed

He deserves to be recognized for his lifelong dedication to serving those humans he lived among, finally giving his life on 9/11/2001, yet saving the employees for the firm he worked for. Why? Because he knew, because he prepared, because he was courageous beyond what I can imagine across decades and continents, in a uniform of armed services, and in civilian clothes.

Black Five posts it again, the story of Col Rick Rescorla, USA (RET), a naturalized American, veteran of the British and US Armies. Hero on the battle fields of Vietnam, and, sadly, the last time, in the stairwells of the World Trade Center.

Read the definitive, detailed story of Rick by Greyhawk of Mudville Gazette and know people like this exist and will sacrifice themselves, not for 72 virgins in eternity, but for that person next to them.

When you’re filled with awe, get over and place your name on the petition to President Bush, requesting “Rick” Rescorla be honored by this nation with the award of the Medal of Freedom.

Category: 2996 Tribute, Army, History, Leadership, Military, Military History, Political, Public Service | Comments Off on Medal of Freedom Petition for “Rick” Rescorla

Monday Maritime Matters

July 23rd, 2007 by xformed

Almost 39 years ago (7/28/1968) in a land far away, a Navy Corpsman gave his life, so his Marine shipmates could live. IN doing so, he was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor:

HM3 William M. Caron, USN

Hospital Corpsman Third Class Wayne M. Caron, United States Navy
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 28 July 1968 while serving as Platoon Corpsman with Company K, 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division during combat operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam. While on a sweep through an open rice field in Quang Nam Province, Petty Officer Caron’s unit started receiving enemy small-arms fire. Upon seeing two Marine casualties fall, he immediately ran forward to render first aid, but found that they were dead. At this time, the platoon was taken under intense small-arms and automatic-weapons fire, sustaining additional casualties. As he moved to the aid of his wounded comrades, Petty Officer Caron was hit in the arm by enemy fire. Although knocked to the ground, he regained his feet and continued to the injured Marines. He rendered medical assistance to the first Marine he reached, who was grievously wounded, and undoubtedly was instrumental in saving the man’s life. Petty Officer Caron then ran toward the second wounded Marine, but was again hit by enemy fire, this time in the leg. Nonetheless, he crawled the remaining distance and provided medical aid for this severely wounded man. Petty Officer Caron started to make his way to yet another injured comrade, when he was again struck by enemy small-arms fire. Courageously and with unbelievable determination, Petty Officer Caron continued his attempt to reach the third Marine until he himself was killed by an enemy rocket round. His inspiring valor, steadfast determination, and selfless dedication in the face of extreme danger, sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

HM3 Caron was outstanding young men who enlisted while America was enganged in a conflict:

Wayne Maurice Caron was born on 2 November 1946 in Middleboro, Massachusetts. He graduated there with multiple honors from Memorial High School in June 1966. On 12 July of that year, he enlisted in the U. S. Navy in Boston, Massachusetts. He advanced to hospital apprentice on 23 September 1966, to hospitalman on 1 April 1967, and to hospital corpsman third class on 16 January 1968.

Hospital Corpsman Third Class Caron underwent recruit training at the Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois, and was the Honorman of his company. He attended Naval Hospital Corps School, also in Great Lakes, and then received further training at Field Marine Service School, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California. In July 1968, HM3 Caron joined 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, and served as a platoon hospital corpsman with the 2d Platoon, Company K in the Republic of Vietnam.


On Oct 1st, 1977, USS CARON (DD-970), was commissioned. CARON was in service 24 years, stationed out of Norfolk, VA. Most of her career was spent attached to DESRON TEN.USS CARON (DD-970) saw action in several major operations during her time at sea. She was at Grenada for Urgent Fury, providing Naval Gunfire Support. Present in the Gulf of Sidra, she sailed across Khadiffi’s “Line of Death” in 1986. In 1991, she fired Tomahawks in support of Operation Desert Storm.USS CARON was sunk off Puerto Rico 12/4/2002.

Category: 2996 Tribute, Blogging, Maritime Matters, Military, Public Service, Quotes, Supporting the Troops | Comments Off on Monday Maritime Matters

“I Am John Doe” – The Manifesto

March 31st, 2007 by xformed

In the wake of the non-flying imam’s court case to sue those private people who called airline personnel to report suspicious behavior, Michelle Malkin has posted the “John Doe Manifesto” at NRO:

Dear Muslim Terrorist Plotter/Planner/Funder/Enabler/Apologist,

You do not know me. But I am on the lookout for you. You are my enemy. And I am yours.

I am John Doe.

I am traveling on your plane. I am riding on your train. I am at your bus stop. I am on your street. I am in your subway car. I am on your lift.

I am your neighbor. I am your customer. I am your classmate. I am your boss.

I am John Doe.

I will never forget the example of the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 who refused to sit back on 9/11 and let themselves be murdered in the name of Islam without a fight.

The statement of principle continues

Are you “John Doe?”

Category: 2996 Tribute, Political, Public Service | Comments Off on “I Am John Doe” – The Manifesto

Valour-IT: Meet the Navy Team – Part I

November 4th, 2006 by xformed

I’m getting behind in comms with the team. For you Navy team members who aren’t be ing spammed by me, ship me in an email. I’m trying to pass around ideas to keep the funds on the upward trend.

For anyone who reads this: Keep contacting anyone you can. Sometimes those people you think aren’t interested, will know someone who is very interested.

Ask blogger you read to post for us. Some of the Navy Team has done that with positive responses.

Ok, here we go! I plan to showcase the Navy Team blogs here, because there’s some great stuff, some from new bloggers, to be seen.

Steeljaw Scribe. A retired Navy Captain, who spent the bulk of his career in E-2C Hawkeye Air Early Warning flying. Weekly Posts of “Flight Deck Friday,” discussing Naval Aviation History, usually covering an particular aircraft. He was in the Pentagon on 9/11/2001. He blogged that the few days before and up to 9/11/2006.

Category: 2996 Tribute, Blogging, Charities, History, Military, Military History, Navy, Valour-IT | 1 Comment »

In Memorium: Mark Y. Gilles of New York City, NY

September 10th, 2006 by xformed

Update 9/11/2001: The 2996 Project server is hammered. Here is an alternate list of tributes at The Blogging Times.

The 2996 Project is being mirrored at due to the ISP telling the blogger he’s way exceeding his traffic quotas..:)

Flag for Mark Gilles

A man born in 1967 died the morning of September 11th, 2001 in New York City, New York, USA. He was 33 years old by the records I can find. Web search engines don’t place this man in history other than he is in the many places where the victims of 9/11/2001 have been posted. The specifics are merely Mark was 33, and a resident of New York, and died in the vicinity of the World Trade Center buildings.

Some of the lists I found would contain a company name of job of some of the victims, but this information about Mark wasn’t posted.

The purpose of this post is to highlight Mark, separate from, but as one of those who perished that day. I intend to keep searching for information on Mark, so as to make his memory more concrete, not just as a letters on a list. Please check back for updates.

Update 9/12/2006: Because of the power of the net and this project, Naya posted a link to a letter of Dec 7, 2002, to a Rockaway newpaper that told who Mark Gilles is:

Loss That Slipped Thru Cracks

Dear Editor;

Many local heroes and victims of the 9/11 tragedy have been honored in our community. The loss of Mark Gilles has slipped through the cracks. Mark, a resident of the Shoreview Cooperative in Far Rockaway, formerly lived in Canarsie, Brooklyn, and moved to Rockaway in November 2000.

An accountant with Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Mark was very interested in cooperative living and management. Shortly after moving to Shoreview, Mark joined the Board of Directors and volunteered his accounting skills.

In the process of making a career change, Mark was employed by Account Temps and assigned to Cantor Fitzgerald in the WTC on 9/11/01.

Mark was 33 years old. He is survived by his fiancé Sherice, their daughter Jasmine, who is now nine, and his mother Giselle, of Brooklyn.

Mark’s life ended too quickly for him to really enjoy the new community he joined.


Mark’s daughter, Jasmine is 13 years old and without her father today. By his assignment that day, he was one of the many who perished working for the financial firm Cantor-Fitzgerald.

Mark also had a sister. She was quoted:

“It’s been over two weeks, and we haven’t heard anything,” said Myriam Gilles, whose brother Mark Gilles, 33, of Brooklyn, is missing. “We’ve got to get some closure instead of waiting, waiting, waiting.”

The death was hard enough, but I imagine his temporary work status was cause for confusion and lack of notification, and more anxieity for his fiancé, daughter, mother and sister.

At, there are several entires by Mark’s friends:

July 19, 2002
Your infectious laugh and sense of humor always made people smile. Nothing was ever wrong in the world when seen thru your eyes. I can’t believe you are gone but I know you are up there making everyone laugh during these trying times. The one regret I have is that we never got back on the court and played one more game. God bless and when my time is finished here, have the ball and your laugh ready for me. I will always be proud of the way you lived your life, my friend.
Ray Whiteman (Dallas, TX )

Mark played pickup ball, and he was an optomist, and most likely a cut up, as well as a good friend.

August 28, 2002
Coming up on almost a year and I still have the hardest time believing you are not around.

You have come up in so many of our conversations. Those good ole days – back in the days – riding through the Stuy in the Buick, going to the Shadow, Finn Bogging on the Deuce, balling in the Nine, 211.

You’ll always be miss Finns.

Gregory Bentham (Brooklyn, NY )

Ray comes back again to talk to his friend:

September 10, 2004
another year, another tear. want you to know that there are still folks missing you. seems like yesterday when i last heard “come on b” from you. keep laughing “big man”, keep laughing…..
Ray Whiteman (washington, DC )

At the 911 Heros site, I found this post to Mark:

I miss you; it took a long time for me to accept that I was never going to see your face. I regret all the things left unsaid and undone between us. All this time has passed: nearly three years now. And I am vacant and lost without you. I have read the reports and sorted through all the paper work, only to realize there is no comfort in them. I long for Justus and I am striving to find my way without you.
May God Have Mercy on Us All

*** Posted by Teri Johnson on 2004-07-24 ***

2996 Tribute Logo

Other Posts of note:

Steeljaw Scribe was at the Pentagon on 9/11 and remembers some of his shipmates here and here. He tells his story of that morning in two posts: Part I and II.

Black Five has a memorial to retired Army Officer and former British Army soldier Rick Rescorla, who died while “running to the sound of the guns” on the morning of 9/11/2001. He wasn’t there and he didn’t have to go, but, like the first responders and other heros of that day, he put others above his own life. He is credited with savings thousands, for pushing an evacuation plan for his company after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Rick is a real hero, serving the Queen, our Presidents, the Constitution in Vietnam and then his fellow Americans on 9/11/2001.

Trackbacked at:
Stop the ACLU

The 2996 Project Blogroll site is here.

Category: 2996 Tribute, History | 6 Comments »

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