I saw the post for Project 2,966 and became immediately excited. I knew I must do this. I must. It is my duty to participate. I have, as many do, a kinship to the Big Apple, a love that goes unrequited and deep, a love that never lets me down when I get the opportunity to visit, that has the capacity to bring tears to my eyes when I see my skyline in pictures or movies. I have, as we all do, a personal where-I-was story about 9/11.
But then, looking down the list of names, I suddenly froze. I cannot do this. I mean, who am I? Who says I have anything to give? What makes me so special that I have the ability or the entitlement to write a memorial for a person, much less a person I do not even know? I cannot do this. I will not do this. Nevermind. Close the door, er, internet window.
Within seconds, I remembered, I am a writer. And if we do not write, people will never know. I am a writer with a blog and that is what is required here. I am a blogger with access to this list of names. I did not stumble on this by mistake. This is the way it is supposed to be. This is not about me. This is about writing. This is about them. This is about remembering.
Writing in and about New York is and always has been important to me. So why not now?
Scrolling the list of names, I did not know how to choose. Do I pick someone old, someone with a long life story? Do I pick someone young, say, just out of college? Do I search for someone named Ivy, maybe we have a bond based solely on the name? Again, doubt filled my body and I did not know how to proceed.
I closed my eyes. I ran my finger over the scroller of my mouse and then placed my finger on the computer screen. I had landed on a name. Someone my age. Someone who, like I wanted to (but never did), left home for life in the big city. She was living the life I wanted to be living.
Carrie B. Progen
Carrie was 25 on September 11, 2001. She was an administrative assistant at the Aon Corporation, which was on the 92nd and 98th–105th floors in the South Tower. Along with 175 of her co-workers, Carrie did not survive the attack.
On the train every morning, Carrie drew pictures of her fellow commuters. What I have read expresses that the pictures themselves seemed to give way to the soul of each person, in a way that she could see it. Her boyfriend recalls her calling this time "the moments when New Yorkers were thinking the most.".
Caring and kind, she was a true friend to those who knew her and an amazing aunt. She always had a present for her nephew. She stood up for what she believed in and spoke her mind. She was honest and forthcoming. What she said, she meant. And she meant what she said. She had a style all her own, and it showed in her dress. She didn't care about money or expensive things, just the little things. She lived everyday to the fullest.
She came to New York from Ashburnham, Massachusetts, a town of about 6000 people.
Carrie made the same sacrifice as many that day. She died for our freedom. It was not a choice. She did not choose to take a stand. It just happened that way. Along with every other person who died that day, she deserves to be remembered and honored.
In addition to the thoughts I always have when I light my candle on September 11, this year, a special thought will go to her and her family.
I found this picture online and thought it showed a great spirit. This is Carrie.