The post below is a repost from 2008. But because I have had to repost all old blogs due to my web hosting transition back in Jan from suckie HoDaddy to wonderful American Discount Web Hosting, I haven’t gotten to it yet and today is a good time to revisit it.

Bernard Curtis Brown II…..

Every year for the 9/11 anniversary I try to make it special by honoring those who died by flying my flag at half staff, reflecting on the tragic events of the day and what we can do to make the world better, and hugging my family and letting them know I love them as a tribute to those who can no longer do the same.

However, what I am afraid of as we continue to add to the number of years from that tragic day, is that it will become a day of rote tribute kind of like Memorial Day where we fly the flags and have picnics.

So this year I decided to try something different and personalize the day. I spent some of the anniversary researching one of the victims so I could put a personal face on the tragedy. Not in a sick sort of way, but as a way to keep it human and as a reminder so we always remember.

We tend to watch the video of the planes colliding into the buildings, the buildings collapsing, the hole in the Pennsylvania field, and the Pentagon collapse and fire as events. I would rather we focus on the fact that there were some great human beings whose future and potential was cruelly cut short at that moment. There were moms, dads, sons, daughters, neighbors, church members, and co-workers on those planes and in those buildings.

Well, here is the story about one of those great people.

Bernard Curtis Brown II

Bernard was 11 years old and an energetic sixth grader at Leckie Elementary School who loved school and basketball. A tribute page says that he bounded out of his house every day and “lived to go to school”. In fact, he was headed to Los Angeles, CA to represent his school at a National Geographic Society-funded marine research project at the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary near Santa Barbara. He had gained his teachers’ attention by his improvement over 4th and 5th grades and was selected to participate. Because of that accomplishment he and other school members and teachers were on American Airlines flight 77 that hijackers crashed into the Pentagon — the same building his dad works in. Thankfully, Bernard Brown Sr. was not in the building that morning. However, he lost many co-workers, friends, and a son.

The Military Child Education Coalition has set up a space camp scholarship honoring Bernard. The Bernard Curtis Brown II Memorial Space Camp Scholarship will allow other military children the opportunity to attend space camp and pursue learning opportunities.

Look at Bernard’s picture. Look at that glowing smile and youthful enthusiasm. I am glad to know a bit more about him now and wish I could have met him. He would have been 18 years old now and probably a freshman in college. Throughout the day yesterday, I prayed for his mom, dad and family that they have healing and hope and that they might know that strangers out there care about their son. They are lucky to have had him for 11 years and I pray that they put hope and faith into their future reunion in heaven.

God bless the Brown family!

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot com