Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Say her name
This girl would have been turning 47 in October. She is Melisa Reneé Vincent, she worked on the 102nd floor of 1 World Trade Center and she died on 9/11. Melissa lived in Hoboken, NJ, as I did in my twenties. I'd seen her beautiful face on "Missing" flyers around town. Six years ago, I did some digging, found her name, learned a bit about her and vowed to always remember her.
Today marks 18 years since the two planes struck The Twin Towers, another flew into the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93 spiraled from the sky into a field in rural Pennsylvania. This morning, en route to work, I stopped by the tree at my train station planted for the two people from our town who died on 9/11, commuting parents just like me. Soon, I will tune in to the reading of names held at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and beam hugs toward their loved ones. I will observe the moments of silence. I will think back to being on the ferry from Hoboken to New York that day and seeing smoke pouring out of the North Tower, the one where Melissa worked.
If you did not lose someone you knew or loved on that day, if you haven't visited the 9/11 Memorial & Museum (I still haven't) and its Wall of Faces, perhaps the victims you saw on flyers, in the newspapers or on TV back then have morphed into a sad blur. Like many, I will pay tribute to these 2983 souls as a whole. And I will think of Melissa and keep my memory of her alive.
I'd read that she liked Broadway shows. This year, in her honor, I donated to Rosie's Theater Kids, a nonprofit that enables low-income students to enjoy performances and attend musical theater classes.
Melissa, I will not forget.