Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11, 2012 -- I Remember Mary Lenz Wieman

As long time readers of this blog know, for several years I have taken part in Project 2,996, a tribute to the 2,996 innocent victims of 9/11, whereby bloggers eulogize each victim.  Previously, I have remembered Mark Francis BroderickCapt. Patrick J, Brown, Hagay Shefi, Alison Marie Wildman, Daniel Thomas Afflitto, and Donna Bernaerts-Kearns.  Please check out these tributes as well today, as they deserve to remembered too.  Today, I remember Mary Lenz Wieman.

Mary, age 43, was an insurance marketing executive with Aon, Corp., working in Tower 2 on the 105th floor.  One colleague described Mary with the following words,  “funny, quick wit, friendly, tenacious, hard worker, complete integrity, loyal, loved her work and liked to socialize with her co-workers.” 

Mary and her husband, Marc met while both attended the University of Dayton.  They had three kids, aged 12, 7 and 6 at the time of her death.  Marc, who also worked in lower Manhattan on 9/11 was evacuated from his office on Water Street.  He tried to contact Mary, but as many of us experienced, cell service was spotty at best, and for most of us, completely out.  As Marc walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, he turned around and saw the south tower collapse.  Marc held out hope that Mary would contact him at home.  Mary, along with several coworkers started to walk down the stairs to evacuate.  Inexplicably, Mary stopped on the 76th  floor and despite being in excellent physical condition, decided to take the elevator the rest of the way.  Her remains were never found, yet many of her coworkers made it out alive. 

Two years ago, my wife was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant with our second child.  For a time I lived with the fear that I would have to raise my daughter and my then unborn son on my own.  I don’t know how I would have done it.  Marc has had raise his three children on his own.  As Marc described it, “I’d go to work early in the city, try to get home by 6 that evening to take care of the kids and then when they went to bed there was all that paperwork for the charities to make sure if there were distributions our family could get some.”

Mary, loved carousels, and to this day, whenever the family passes a carousel Marc makes sure his kids ride it.  We should all go and ride a carousel this week for Mary!

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