The Maryland 911 Memorial is dedicated today, on the tenth anniversary of that tragic event. Among the 68 Marylanders who lost their lives that day, five are listed as living in Baltimore County. Included in that list are Robert John Fangman, Linda Rosenbaum and Cortez Ghee. A biography of each of can be seen at
However, I would like to highlight two young professionals who grew up in Baltimore County and represented the passions and energy that make America great.
Honor Elizabeth Wainio was only 27 years old on September 11, 2001. She grew up in Catonsville, graduating from Catonsville High School in 1991, where she was an honor student, captain of the cheerleading squad, an editor on the school paper and a member of the Baltimore County all-star field hockey team. A graduate of Towson University (1995), she started working for Discovery Channel Stores, in 1999, as a general manager its the Harborplace Store. Her talents were almost immediately recognized and she was promoted the next year to oversee retail operations in the New York and New Jersey stores. She became the number one ranked business development manager in regional sales performance for Discovery. As part of her meteoric rise though Discovery, she was bound to for a business meeting in San Francisco,on United Airlines Flight 93, when it crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. In her final moments, realizing her impending death, she called her family on her cell phone and calmly, selflessly, tried to console them.
Daniel McNeal, 29, was class president at Loyola-Blakefield High School for six years and student government president in his final year. He graduated cum laude from Boston College and summa cum laude from Georgetown University with an MBA. McNeal was a brilliant financial analyst with the investment firm of Sandler O’Neill and Partners, whose offices were located on the 104th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center. After a plane hit the North Tower that morning, McNeal called his family to reassure them of his safety. He left voice mail messages with his mother and sister. He was speaking to his father on the phone at the time a plane hit the South Tower. McNeal gave generously of his time as a volunteer, a mentor in a Jesuits’ big brother program and in his church. In two weeks, McNeal was planning to escort his sister down the aisle at her wedding because his father was in hospice care at the Gilchrist Center. A scholarship at Loyola-Blakefield has been named in McNeal’s honor. For a beautiful story about McNeal in the Baltimore Sun today (author- Scott Calvert), see http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-world-trade-center-classmates-20110910,0,5677518.story?page=1.
Photographs, from the Maryland 911 website, of both Wainio and McNeal are below.
In contrast to the finality of that terrible day for 68 Marylanders, one Marylander continues to serve and fight the battles that were set into motion. Lt. Col. Charles Blomquist is a Baltimore City State’s Attorney. He is an elected member of the Baltimore City Bar Association Executive Council. He is a 2009 recipient of the Daily Record Leadership in Law Award. As a State’s Attorney, he recently prosecuted the murder of a Baltimore City Police Officer (see-
He also is a member of the National Guard, who is leaving today for a third deployment. He has served in Iraq and Afghanistan. See the Baltimore Sun article by Jean Marbella for the interview with Blomquist, http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-911-essay-20110910,0,4314904.story.
We are forever indebted to people like Lt. Col. Charles Blomquist, who have sacrificed years of their lives to protect us from those who would attack our shores. We can only imagine the pain of the families of those who died on that terrible day, especially, those who died so young and with such bright futures ahead. Our task and honorable burden is to thank the members of the Armed Services who keep us safe and to strive to conduct our lives in a manner that would make Honor Elizabeth Wainio and Daniel McNeal (as well as all the others sacrificed that day) proud. That is a responsibility as tall as those great two towers, but we are all up for the challenge.
Please have a safe day and week and thank you, as always, for reading.
Copyright, 2011, Jeff Scholnick and Far Corners Historical Productions. All rights reserved.