Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 11, 2013 -- I Remember Lt. Col. Jerry Don Dickerson Jr.

Since its inception, I have participated in Project 2,996, a tribute to the 2,996 innocent victims of 9/11, where bloggers eulogize each victim. Previously, I have remembered Mary Lenz Wieman, Mark Francis Broderick, Capt. 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 be remembered too.  Today, I remember Lt. Col. Jerry Don Dickerson Jr.  It struck me that all of my previous tributes have been for victims at the World Trade Center.  For that reason, I decided I needed to remember a hero from attack on the Pentagon.

"If there were a definition of Army values in the dictionary, Jerry D. Dickerson’s picture would sit right next to it, said a longtime friend and fellow military man, Lt. Col. Glenn W. Harp. 

'For him, it was selfless service,' Harp said. 'He cared more for others than he did for himself.'"  If that isn't the perfect statement to summarize a hero I don't know what is. 

Lt. Col. "D.D." Dickerson was born in  was born in Mississippi, studied economics at Mississippi State, and received a Master’s degree in Engineering from Texas A&M University.

He joined the ROTC, served in the National Guard and joined the Army in 1983.  On 9/11 he was working at the Pentagon on operations research and systems analysis. “He was a key player in molding and shaping the future of the United States Army,” Harp said.

His mother once wrote "[a]s many things as D.D. liked, I don't know what he liked more than just sitting down and eating and talking with people."  And truly who can't relate to this?

Lt. Col. Dickerson had a wife, Page, and two children, Will, then 11 and Beth, then 15.  My prayers go out to them, a wife who has to live without her husband, and children who had to grow up without a father.  May they grow up and instill the sense of selflessness, and dedication to honor and Country that their father held so dear.

As I was driving to work today, I heard the victims names being read on the radio. When I heard Daniel Thomas Afflitto's name I started to tear up.  By the time they got to Donna Bernaerts-Kearns I was almost ready to pull over.  Remembering the victims of 9/11 is something we all need to do.  I fear that as we move forward, as the towers are rebuilt, as new generations are born who didn't live through that day, that we will forget.  If some have their way, 9/11, as well as the Holocaust, would be removed from our text books.  This cannot happen!  We need to remember what happened that day.  That America was attacked, not for what we did, but because we are.  Because what we believe, that all people are equal.  That all religions and beliefs are tolerated.  As one of the family members reading names at the 9/11 tribute at the World Trade Center just said, 'it is time to make 9/11 a national holiday.  Kids today know when the new IPhone is coming out and when the Justin Beiber concert is, but they don't know about 9/11.'  To forget is to lose!  Lets not lose!

1 comment:

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