I REMEMBER BRUCE ‘CHAPPY’ BOEHM
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I think that most Americans (even those who were very young at the time) remember September 11, 2001. It’s so easy to remember for me, that I can’t believe it’s been 16 years.
Over the years there have been many schools of thought on what ‘really happened.” However, that is not my focus. My focus is on the thousands of Americans who lost their lives that day.
Those Americans were father, mothers, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, nieces, nephews, cousins, grandchildren, grandparents, friends, co-workers and more. They matter.
Following is a list of tributes I have written for people who lost their lives on that day. I post these tributes for the families and friends and for those of us who choose not to forget.
“I Remember Paul Lisson – a 9/11 Tribute”
“I Remember Bruce “Chappy” Boehm – a 9/11 Tribute”
“I remember Craig Amundson – a 911 tribute”
PS: Like many, I have friends and family directly in the path of Hurricane Irma. I pray for them and everyone potentially in danger. Please say a prayer for us all.
Most everyone who was alive on that day, remembers where they were and what they were doing. For me, it was one of the most difficult days of my life. Most Americans and much of the world were grief-stricken, confused and angry. It brought us together in a way I’d never seen in my life.
I, like many bloggers, took part in a Project 2996 and in the ensuing years, wrote tributes to victims of 911. But as the years have passed, the enthusiasm for never forgetting has waned. Conspiracy theories have taken the place of reverence and our national cynicism has returned. That makes my heart hurt. But people move on. It’s hard to maintain grief. It’s easier to be self-involved, skeptical and worry about your manicure than to carry the weight of a national tragedy. I’m not judging, just observing.
Even I struggle with what to say to commemorate this awful piece of American history. It seems it has all been said – and there is little I can add, if anything.
I suppose all I really want to say is that I still think about that day. I still grieve for the people who died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time – and for the family and friends they left behind. And I hope that all Americans take at least a moment out of their day on Sunday to say a prayer for the people that we lost and for our country and for each other.
Today is September 11th, and it is the eleventh anniversary of the saddest day of my adult life. Not because I lost a friend, a co-worker or a family member but because we lost 2,997 citizens whose promise never came to fruition. Whose lives were cut short simply by a twist of fate. Not by any act they had committed or words they had spoken. Simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. And we can never know what might have been because all of those might-have-beens died in the flames and rubble.
If Kevin Bacon is correct and we are all connected through six degrees of separation, then the loss of those 2,997, is also the loss of millions of acts of kindness, millions of acts of paying it forward, millions of utterances of encouragement. Paintings we will never look upon, songs we will never hear, victories we will never know, and faces we will never see again at family gatherings.
And because of the loss of those 2,997 young men and women stood up and went to fight the good fight, sometimes returning but too often not. More might-have-beens we will never know.
And I mourn the loss of those never to be known futures, those lives cut short, that promise never realized. And I pray that I will never forget and always remember. And I pray that God continues to bless those souls who we lost and those who have found a way to continue on without them.
She was warm, friendly, could belt out a tune and was loved by many. Peggie M. Hurt had only worked at the Pentagon as an army accountant, for two weeks before the plane struck on September 11th.
On the night of September 10th Peggie and a longtime friend, Phyllis Adams, took Peggie’s godmother out for dinner to celebrate her 86th birthday. It was a night of love and celebration and one on which they stayed out perhaps a little too late for a week day.
The 36-year-old Kenbridge, Virginia native had many friends and a large extended family of cousins and church members. And loved being a part of the Hurt family gospel singing group. Her favorite song was “The Battle Is Not Yours, It’s the Lord’s,” and she sung it often and by all accounts well.
I never knew Peggie and can only tell you what I’ve read about her, but her friends and family can tell you who she really was:
Peggy and I worked for the State at night (part-time) She was the first person I met when I arrived for orientation. Peggy was so friendly. We would chic chat at break time. What a sweet angel that is gone much too soon. – Priscilla
Peggie was my first cousin and like a big sister to me. Though the reports state Crewe, Va, her home is really Kenbridge, VA. She NEVER resided in Crewe. I have a picture to place here soon. You all are right about her sweet and kind demeanor. Her spirit was genuine and true and still lives on…I didn’t know about this memorial, but I am glad I stumbled upon it. Thank you all… Alesha Williams
I remember Peggy from high school. She had a sweet quiet demeanor about her. I was stationed in Northern California when I received the news that she was killed 9/11 and thought how could something so terrible happen to someone so sweet. Remember you always. Connie Foster-Daniels
Peggy, we love you, and we miss you! Virgie Dow
Peggy was one of my favorite cousins. Always a pleasure to be around, Peggy always had a beautiful spirit and a kind soul. One of the last times we spent together was at my sisters wedding (Wanda). We had a ball doing the “bump” down the soul train line. Every time I see a picture it breaks my heart. Peggy you will never be forgotten. Love Always – Lorinda Ridley
I worked with Peggy along with ten other ladies at the USPFO in Richmond, VA. We came to be known as the “Girls Night Out” Group. Peggy was so special to all of us. We teased her, but she was such a good sport about it, never taking offense. She had a special quality about her that was never touched by the ills of the world. What I will always remember about Peggy is that she never lost her small town, down-home personality. Peggy, we’ll always love you, and we miss you, still. The Girls Night Out Group – Mary Reede
I met Peggy Hurt in August of 2000 at the Army National Guard Readiness Center we worked in close proximity. Peggy had a loving and warm personality. She loved her church family at home and in Arlington, VA. I remember how excited she was when she received a call regarding being selected for her new job/promotion at the Pentagon. The 911 attack happened within 2 or 3 weeks after Peggy reported to her new position and the Pentagon. Remembering you always Peggy, – Wanda Thurman
Peggie was a spiritual person. Every first and third Sunday, she returned to her hometown church in Kenbridge, Virginia. It’s about a three- to four-hour drive from Northern Virginia. She sang in the choir, and with the Hurt family singers which consisted of aunts and cousins. She loved that song a lot. She was the lead vocalist on this song, and it was sung at her funeral service. –Delores Hardy, cousin
Peggie is my niece; we were much closer than that. We were raised in the same home together and were more like sisters. Over the years we were like mother/daughter relationship. I miss your beautiful smile and crazy jokes. You are miss by so many people who loves you. Margaret
Clearly Peggie will always be missed by her many friends and family members and you have to wonder what we have missed by her absence in this world. Her warmth, her kindness, her smile…
I’d like to think that she is in a better place, in another celestial choir singing this song:
For other 9/11 tributes please check project 2996
Everyone in this country knows where they were on the day the planes hit the towers and a lone plane went down in a Pennsylvania field. We all know someone who was profoundly affected by loss because of the attack or suffered a personal and unimaginable loss ourselves.
There are images that will forever remain in our memories – the wreckage of steel and concrete, the loss of human life, the tears, the grey ash that covered Manhattan – immovable objects tumbling to the ground.
And we became one nation, truly on that day. Our love of our country, our fellow citizens and freedom was on display with pride. With few exceptions the rest of the world mourned with us and the people responsible indeed heard from us.
We vowed to never forget. I’d like to think that we have all kept that vow. I’d like to think that every American will say a prayer for those we lost and their loved ones. I’d like to think that at least on this day we show one another more kindness, understanding and love.
There will be many ceremonies on Sunday, some official and some not so official. But I believe all of us will do something to honor our 911 families and our brave men and women who continue to stand the watch and keep us safe. I know I will.
Please feel free to express your thoughts here. And God bless America – God bless us all.
For several years now, a group of bloggers have banded together to write remembrances of September 11th victims for the 2996 project. And as the years pass, I suppose it is easier to forget and maybe some people want to. I as well as others, however, have promised never to forget. Nearly 3,000 Americans were killed that day through no fault of their own – simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. As the saying goes, “There but for the grace of God, go I.”
This year, I remember Bruce. Affectionately known as Chappy – although I couldn’t find out how or why he got his nickname – you’ve got to like a guy named Chappy, don’t you?
Bruce was one of many Cantor Fitzgerald employees who did not survive the attacks. He was strong, athletic and handsome. From all accounts a great father, husband and friend. Even though he was a financial broker for a prestigious firm, he was also a physical fitness advocate who regularly swam, biked and competed in marathons and triatholons.
He loved the ocean and often told his wife, Irene “The beach is my church.” He shared his love of the ocean with his daughters Brittany and Stacey. Like their father, they went on to be lifeguards, helping others, and looking out for people in trouble. And I’m sure, making him proud.
Chappy loved Hofstra University’s football, basketball and lacrosse teams, and attended most home games. In short, it seems that he was a great guy, with a lovely family and a love for life. Sadly, he was taken from his family on the day of his 19th wedding anniversary.
Rather than trying to speak for his family I will instead offer his wife’s words:
“The pain is there every single day. Time does not heal. You learn to kind of put your grief in your back pocket and carry it along with you. My husband is on my mind 24 hours a day. I don’t think that will ever go away and that’s good. I have memories of him. They’re not sad memories. We talk about him all the time. We laugh about the quirky things he would do. He would be happy that we’re happy I had 19 wonderful years. As sad as it is, at least I have that. Those memories will never go away.”
I cannot know what was in Chappy’s mind when he went into work that day or his last thoughts. Nor can I know what the loss of this man in his family’s and friend’s lives has meant. I can only say that the world is a little less happy because he is missing from it. And maybe someday when you’re at the beach you might catch a glint of something special, the spirit of a man who loved that vast expanse of water and whose sparkle reflects on aquamarine waves.
With honor and respect,
Carry the vigil
stand the watch
you wear the
wings of angels
Keep the torch burning
despite the time passing
preserve our memories
don’t let us forget
Keep the song going
remind us the words
Never give in
Never give up
dedicated to DC Roe, without whom so many might have been forgotten.
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