Sunday, September 11, 2016

Because I Can Never Forget This Ethiopian Flower....


(I originally posted this on 9/11/2009. I have decided that I will re-post this every year on the anniversary, just to keep the memory of this one beautiful soul alive...in my heart, in your heart. In everyone's heart who reads this.)


Here is a photo of a young woman who is now going to haunt me for the rest of my days. Her name was Eskedar Melaku. She died September 11, 2001, at the World Trade Center. She was 31 years old.

She was born in Ethiopia and emigrated to the United States, settling in New York City to attend Queens College. At the time of her death she was assistant vice president of Marsh & McLennan
Cos. Inc., a global professional services and insurance brokerage company, ranked the 5th largest US company in the diversified financial industry. I also found in researching for this blog post that the company was located on the floors directly impacted by the first jet that crashed into the North Tower. It comforts me to know that she never knew what hit her. She was a successful young business woman, but that only touches the surface of who she really was. She was described in the many tributes I've read about her by people who knew her as intelligent, beautiful, radiant, authentic, full of life. Hard working. Kind. Thoughtful. Never a bad word came from her mouth. A beautiful soul whose quiet presence is missed very much. How much she was loved by those fortunate enough to know her. How I wish I'd been one of them.

Like everyone else on that day, I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when the attacks on the World Trade Center were taking place. I was standing at my bedside, folding towels before leaving for work, listening to Katie Couric and Matt Lauer on the Today Show on the TV behind me, Katie making some kind of comment like, "What does this mean?" before anyone really had a clue what was going on. I happened to turn to look at the TV just as the second plane was approaching and watched in horror as it slammed into the tower. I remember the icy cold tendrils of shock radiating down my spine, just as I feel them now as I sit here writing this. I never realized how this incident, this horrendous tragedy, would change the 'safe' world we Americans had always taken for granted, how America would never be the same. I said more prayers than I can remember that day, for those who perished and the loved ones left behind. I have said many prayers for them since. None of whom I ever knew personally.

But, now I do know one of them personally. Eskedar Melaku. And I know she'll come to mind on every anniversary of 9/11. And at many other random moments, whenever I hear references to that day. I will see that beautiful smile, those warm eyes. I will remember.

21 comments:

Donna said...

A perfect tribute; when I read the tributes, I say to myself, "What a waste."

Donna said...

Oh wait, maybe that didn't come out right. I didn't mean the TRIBUTES are a waste... it's the lost lives that seem such a waste.

Betty said...

What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman.
I remember where I was and what I was doing too, and even though it was a world away, it affected us all.
God bless those who suffered and had to die so young!

lakeviewer said...

I've dropped in from Wander to the Wayside, not expecting to find such a thoghtful story.

Pam said...

I hadn't heard of Project 2996 until I read this post yesterday. I contacted the person in charge of the Project and hope to be involved next year. What a great idea and a beautiful tribute. What a sad, sad day that was.

Andrea (ace1028) said...

I haven't heard of this project, What a beautiful post about one of the many who left us too soon.

Melissa B. said...

Thank you, Kris, for sharing this powerful and poignant story. I was melancholy all day yesterday, and that feeling has carried over into today. I came to the realization a couple of days ago that many of my students were too young to feel the true impact of the continuing tragedy that is 9/11. I will never forget.

Danielle said...

Thank you for doing this Miss Kris. I was signed up to do the one I did a few years back but it was very unorganized this year and I couldn't access a name. You have shown me that I don't need to be part of a group to extend the respect and remembrance the individuals who died on 9/11 deserve. Thank you.

Betty said...

I remember reading this the first time. Good of you to repost it so that she will not be forgotten.

Mom said...

thank you

Anita said...

Yes... I, too, will never forget where I was; how I was watching TV that morning and wondered what to do.

I know this young woman's family and friends would love how you've chosen her to represent the treasured lives lost that day.

God bless you, Kris.

Jenny R said...

I will never forget that day either.. I was getting ready for work when my mom told me what had happened.. So so so tragic.. We will never forget.. Tomorrow we are running in a virtual race to honor those that lost their lives on that day.. http://www.fit4liferaceseries.com/freedom-race.php

Anonymous said...

A year before she passed away, she was at our wedding as one of my wife's wonderful friends and a bride made. She was an angel! she has friends all over the states and in Ethiopia who grew up with her since kindergarten. Eskedar means up to the end of up to the the edge/verge. Her love is walking with everyone who knew her up to the very end of their own lives.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this tribute to Eskedar. She was a friend of mine. My heart aches today for her mother, her family, her friends, all those who knew her and loved her.

Nancy Shanes said...

I hired Eskedar out of school in her first job as an accountant at AIG. She was beautiful in and out, I loved working with her and was so proud to know her. She didn't deserve to die so young.

Thank you for having this tribute page, I think of her every year

Nancy Shanes

Nancy Shanes said...

Thank you for creating this page. I hired Eskedar when she graduated into her first Job as an accountant
at AIG. She was beautiful in and out and was so proud to know her.

It breaks my heart to think of her gone at such a young age. I was lucky to know her and think of her especially on this tragic day

Nancy Shanes

Yonas said...

They are dedicating the 9/11 memorial this week. My thoughts drifted to Eskedar. I took this picture of her you're using in one of our many evenings out in NYC. She was a truly a great person. Thanks your dedication.

Anita said...

I'm back again with you, acknowledging this beautiful representative and symbol of the lives we must not forget.

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