In 2006 I became a part of something called Project 2996. Each person who agreed to participate was given the name of someone who perished on September 11. Since that time I remember William Wren and his family on this day.
In remembrance -
William Wren - age 61
Resident Manger - OCS Security
Confirmed Dead - World Trade Center
William Wren, a retired New York City firefighter, worked for OCS Securiy as fire security officers in the World Trade Centers.
Raised in Gerritsen Beach in Brooklyn, Wren graduated from James Madison High School, served three years in the U.S. Army and joined the New York City Fire Department. People remember him as a quiet, reserved man who never spoke of his firefighting adventures.
The New York Port Authority contracted with OCS as part of the additional safety precautions that were put into place after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Five employees of OCS died on September 11, including Wren's neighbor of over thirty years, Richard Fitzsimons.
Both men were at work on that morning and Wren called his wife Pat shortly after 9 a.m. to say he was OK. But sirens were wailing in the background. Ten minutes later he called back to say that Richard was also OK and that Pat should call his wife and let her know.
That was a last time either family heard from the men. It is known that they continued to perform their duties, along with the other OTC employees who were lost - Philip Hayes, Larry Boisseau and Robert Mayo. They evacuated the day care center first, and with their intimate knowledge of the building continued to evacuate and bring others to safety.
These are just the barest facts of his life and his actions on that day. To tell his whole story, the story of his life and his death, would take an entire book. There are those who can remember him as the man who saved their lives. How would you ever repay a debt of that magnitude? You could remember.... and vow to live your life with the caliber of character exhibited by this man.
Just people..... just doing their jobs....thrust into extreme circumstances. Everyday heroes.
I want William Wren's wife Pat and their children to know that they are in my thoughts and prayers and that we will never forget their loved one or their loss.
To the people of New York: Your home was violated, your lives were violated. I corresponded with someone from Brooklyn who volunteered in the weeks and months following 9-11. New Yorkers are to be commended for their support and commitment to doing what needed to be done following the attack. They worked as a community galvanized by loss. I admire you.
I also want to remember the passengers on Flight 93. After being made aware of the events that had unfolded in New York and Washington, they VOTED to storm the cockpit and do whatever it took to thwart the hijackers plans. How totally American - they voted and waited until they were over a rural area to prevent loss of life on the ground. These were not soldiers who are trained to rush into dangerous situations and fight, they were businessmen, flight attendants and others. They were just plain citizens, like you and me, who found the courage and took a stand knowing that it meant their lives. There are many stories of heroism from that day but it was these people who, in their actions, said "HELL NO" the terrorists. Their wives, mothers and friends should also be commended for telling them the truth, confirming their love and supporting their decision to do what needed to be done. They have my undying admiration.