Sunday, September 10, 2006

IN MEMORIAM of Ian J. Gray

For those of my readers unfamiliar with Mr. Gray, he was a passenger on American Airlines flight 77 which was flown into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

I've signed up for the 2,996 Project, in which 2,996 bloggers have volunteered to honour the 2,996 victims of that day. I, nestled securely in the middle of Canada, knew none of the victims. I claim no ability to empathize with their loved ones; such a loss is a horrific blow to any circle of friends and family, so I won't pretend to have insights into Mr. Gray's life that I really don't have.

However, from comments made about him on various memorial websites (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) and other web search results, I've been able to infer the following:

He was born in Scotland, emigrated in 1968, and became a naturalized US citizen in 1979 (though he never lost his love for the bagpipes). He and his wife Ana were very much in love. His daughter Lisa misses him terribly. He had an infectious smile and loved to laugh at life's absurdities. He had a giving heart, loyal to the last. He was president of McBee Associates, a health care finance consulting firm, and served on the Board of Trustees for the Baltimore Medical Center. His contributions to both companies were immense - especially as a mentor to his peers - and the people he worked with still struggle with his absence. At company social events, he always played the role of babysitter, thoroughly enjoying playing with the kids while the adults did all their grown-up stuff. I presume he was a golfer. He loved to smoke cigars in Cancun.

He believed in dragons, and believed that we should not be afraid of them.

For having never met the man, he sounds like somebody I really wish I'd known.

May you rest in eternal peace, Ian J. Gray. May God grant solace to your loved ones.

9 comments:

  1. I have enjoyed reading your heartfelt tribute. Thank you for taking part in Project 2996. Let us not forget those who died and the families left to live life without them. We shall remember the day the world cried. We shall remember a day that the whole world mourned together. We shall remember September 11th as more than just a number thanks to the 9/11 tribute started by D.Challener Roe.

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  2. What a nice tribute! It's been difficult for me. I cried with everything I read about the person I wrote a tribute for. This is a wonderful project and I hope some of the families get a chance to see these.

    We shall never forget.

    Sue

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  3. This is so touching...so tough for me to read. I love what all you are doing for the families and for their memories!!

    So beautiful.

    I thought of doing one for an individual, and I thought I couldn't do it...and I'm right. This is just way too sad, even for me to read!! So, I opted for doing something on the postitive side and did a blog about rebuilding AMERICA and all things that are going on in this world...around the world.

    Your work is heartwarming, tho so very sad.

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  4. Thank you, your tribute was beautiful.

    Five years have come, and five years have gone, and still we stand together as one…

    I did not know any victims, but I learned a lot about my asigned person. His tribute is on my blog.

    9/11 is what compelled me to re-join the military and do my part.

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  5. Thank you for sharing this snapshot of a man who reminds us not to be afraid of our "dragons"!

    Jonathon's Closet remembers Robert Levine, lost when WTC Tower 1 came down.

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  6. Ian was my uncle, and you summed him up reasonably well. That and he loved the odd tipple of rum, was addicted to jigsaws and loved sci-fi. My favourite uncle, sadly missed. I wish he could have met my children, they would have loved him.
    Thank you

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  7. Thank you so much for that affirmation... that was a risky post, eulogizing somebody I didn't know based on the scattered online rememberings of those who knew him dearly. My prayers & thoughts are with you and his family on the eve of this tragic anniversary.

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  8. Ian, we still miss you dearly. I will enjoy a craft beer with my jigsaw puzzle this evening.

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    Replies
    1. I'm thinking of him today too. http://imgur.com/ebtlNW8

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