On September 11, 2001, I was living in Mexico City, preparing to go on a trip with a driver from a Mexico City mortuary. I was working in the capital at the time as a freelance writer.
Part of the mortuary’s business was to pick up the bodies of immigrants who had died in the United States and whose families had flown them home to be buried.
The mortuary would provide the service of retrieving the body and driving it back to the immigrant’s home village. That morning the body of an immigrant was due to arrive from Denver.
I was set to go with the driver to the airport and then to the village.
I called the mortuary and the owner told me, “There are no flights today. I think someone just bombed your country.”
I spent the next two weeks in front of a television.
On the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, I thought it appropriate to list some of the obituaries of soldiers who’ve died in the wars that grew from the event.
Most recently, U.S. Marine Lance Cpl Richard A. Rivera, Jr., of Oxnard, was killed in Afghanistan in a green-on-blue attack.
Another story I’ll never forget is of Lance Cpl Rogelio Ramirez, from Pasadena, who spent three years trying to get into the Marines, then was killed less than two months into his deployment in Iraq. Amazing, the story his mother told of how hard he tried, and the things he did, to be acceptable to the Marine Corps.
Sgt. Michael Cardenaz, of Corona, was an enlistee planning on making the Army a career. A larger-than-life guy to the folks who knew him.
Powerful, emotional things, these stories.
A thank you to these guys and condolences to their families.