Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Sept. 11th - 10 Years Ago

It's hard to believe it's been ten years now since 9/11. The images and tributes shown on TV still bring up the most terrible hurting for me and I'm sure for most Americans.

There's a lot that has changed in our country during those ten years because of that fateful day, and I can't say that they have been good changes. We're still at war, with a terrible loss of life among our military men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Air travel is much different than it once was. The World Trade Center area is rife with controversy. Our politicians seem determined to ignore the God inspired roots of our country.

So it's a sad time as we honor those who died on that day and lift up the first responders who were so courageous. So many of those first responders died then, and many more who helped in the aftermath have contracted serious illnesses due to their exposure to toxic materials.

In 2007 I joined many others in an online tribute to the individuals who lost their lives that day. I've chosen to write out Norma Khan each year since then in tribute to all those who died that day and in the aftermath.

I intentionally did not name her 13 year old son in the original memorial, because I am particularly cautious about children and the internet. But last year I found this article showing a photo of Imran with his aunt right after 9/11.

He's 23 years old now, and I wanted to see if I could find out how he's doing. I did find this 2001 article:

As reported in The News last week, Norma Khan, manager of member services for the Plumb-ing-Heating-Cooling Contractors — National Association (PHCC), was on board American Airlines Flight 77, which was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon on September 11.

She left behind a 13-year-old son, Imran. At its annual conference, PHCC decided to establish a scholarship fund for Imran Khan.

We have no doubt of our industry’s continuing generosity.

# To contribute to the Imran Khan Fund, send checks to the PHCC Educational Foundation, 180 S. Washington St., Falls Church, VA 22046. Please make checks out to the PHCC Educational Foundation Scholar-ship Fund, with a notation that the donation is for the Imran Khan Fund.

So I'm hoping that means this young man has graduated from college by now. His mom has made the whole 9-11 tragedy very close to home for me, and I wish him the very best life.

Norma Khan was on American Airlines, flight 77, on her way home to Reston, Virginia, on September 11, 2001, when that plane was hijacked and aimed at the Pentagon. She was 45 years old. She had worked as an organizer for fundraiser programs for non-profit organizations, and had been heavily involved in the Reston Multicultural Festival, held each September in Reston. She was a single parent with a 13 year old son, Imran.

Several people have left memorial comments on various 9/11 sites, praising Norma as a warm, loving woman who cared about people. She was a good mother to her son. There is no way that I can properly pay tribute to this lady that I did not know, but the many lives she touched during her lifetime are a living tribute to her that will last forever.

If you'd like to read more tributes written by bloggers to honor the 2,996 people who died tragically on 9/11, you'll find the whole list here. It's a shame, but not all the links are any good any more, including mine, but I did find the link to Norma's page after a bit of Googling. A flower is added at the bottom of the page each time someone visits it, so please take the time to stop by. Maybe someday Imran will see that people have not forgotten her.

Every once in a while someone who knew Norma posts a comment on one of my annual posts about her, as they deal with their personal loss. I keep hoping that some day Imran will contact me. I would love to know that he is having a good life. I know that's what his Mom would want for him.


Anji said...

Isn't it strange how we can be moved by the life of someone we've never known? My flower is there now too. I hope that her son knows that she has not been forgotten

Dirty Butter said...

I'm sure he does, Anji. His name is very common, so I've never been able to search for him. The photo with the teddy bears really hit home for me, considering all the stories I post on our Plush Memories Lost Toy Search Service.