18 December 2009
16 October 2009
But the behind-the-scenes addition of that new language — included at the request of a powerful Florida lawmaker whose district includes a prominent flight school — didn't exactly thrill those who lost loved ones in the February crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 in Clarence Center.
"This is kind of out of the blue," said Susan Bourque, whose sister, Beverly Eckert, was among the 50 people who died in the crash.
11 September 2009
Hi Sean, it’s me.
I know it was a while ago, but I thought I’d tell you all about what we did on your birthday this year.
We actually had three celebrations. The first one was on your actual birthday, the 15th. Susan, Bill and I went to dinner at the Roycroft Inn. It was cold and snowy, just like that winter you worked there, but it was warm inside by the fireplace, and we had a great meal. They had live jazz in the lounge, so after dinner we stayed to listen. All evening we talked, laughed, and most of all, we remembered. It felt like there were four of us there that evening, not just three.
The next day Karen, Mike and I we went to the Neumann Center at UB because the 4:30 Mass there was dedicated to you. The priest, Father Pat, greeted us when we walked in and asked a few questions about you. A couple of times during the mass, he mentioned how you died, but he also mentioned your love of wine and food and how our families often gathered to cook in your memory. So right in the middle of mass, I invited him to join us over at Karen and Mike’s after mass. He brought a bottle of Brunnello. By the way, I made your ‘Chicken Alfredo’ that night and it turned out great. Yes, hon, I’ve learned to cook a little…
The next day, we were back at the Procknals. This time both of our families gathered, and we made ravioli - tray after tray, with three pots of water boiling on the stove to cook it all. We had three banquet tables pushed together to accommodate us all. And we thought we had the head count right, but when we all sat down, we discovered there was one extra place setting, just to my right. So I went and got a photo of you, propped it up there, and poured you some wine. All through dinner, I couldn’t stop smiling - the food, the wine, everyone sitting around the table talking and laughing, and you next to me where you belong.
It was a birthday we’ll all remember. It was a lot like this past 9/11 anniversary, a rollercoaster mix of happy and sad. The commemoration started with a ceremony at the Red Cross Headquarters. Your mom and Cynthia did readings. It seemed only fitting that it was pouring rain through the whole ceremony. For one of the musical selections, they played “Only Time” by Enya. I guess I dropped something while we were standing there listening. My sister told me she touched my arm to hand it back, but I never saw nor felt her. I must have been wherever you are.
The next day, your mom and I went to lunch. Afterward we drove over to your old house on Dorchester Avenue. The basketball hoop is still there, over the garage door. We laughed about the time you backed the car into the chimney, and the way you dismantled your ‘51 MG all over the driveway one year and then rebuilt it. Your mom pointed out the window on the third floor that was your bedroom. Then we just sat there in the car, quietly looking at the house, remembering.
After I dropped Rosemary off, I went to the Amherst 9/11 Memorial Grove with Carol and Kamil. One of the three trees dedicated to you there has lost a lot of its branches. But there are trees in other places in Stamford and Buffalo that are still doing OK. People leave flowers and notes at them. Still.
The next day there was a ceremony in the morning at the waterfront downtown. They asked a family member to speak, so I said a few words. Then, we held a car-wash fund-raiser at your old grammar school, to raise money for your memorial scholarship. It was raining and there were kids with hoses, so needless to say we all got soaked, but we had a great time. The kids worked hard, and our families pitched in and helped, too. All together, we raised over $800 dollars. By the way, one of your old eighth-grade classmates is a teacher there now, and she told me you were the cutest guy in the class and all the girls had a crush on you. Then Sister Gail, the current principal, located a copy of your school transcript. We had to laugh - you had high grades, but you didn’t do too well in the deportment categories.
After the car wash, our families went to Cole’s on Elmwood to get something to eat. There was a TV in the bar, and the local evening news was on. They were broadcasting segments about the 9/11 events of the day. We could see that they were showing footage of us, so we were yelling and pointing. On one segment, they showed a photo of you, so we all cheered. I can’t imagine what the other bar patrons were thinking of our raucous reaction to the 9/11 news stories.
At the end of the broadcast, we raised our voices and our glasses: “To Sean!”
It was a good day.
Something I’ve come to realize over the past six and a half years, Sean, is that death has no power over our hearts - neither yours, nor ours. I want you to know how much you are loved, and remembered.
You are with us, still.
All my love, all my life.
10 September 2009
Intelligent, capable, energetic and determined -- some of the words used to describe the Eckert sisters and explain their successes, and reason enough to not stand in their way once they decide on a course of action. Beverly, Susan, Margaret and Karen individually and working together have done impressive things, and a recent Associated Press article by Carolyn Thompson weaves together the story of Beverly's activism for 9/11 reform and the work done by Sue Bourque and Karen Eckert in the cause of airline safety.
"If anything, she would want us to have her voice ... I want her voice to resonate," Karen Eckert said.
It already has in the way it has opened doors of senators and representatives to 3407 families. Many knew Beverly, or knew of her.
Her voice resonates in the minds of her sisters, too: whenever they present their fact- and solution-driven case for better pilot training and hiring practices, fatigue management and closer government oversight of the airline industry.
"We have an agenda. The one thing we knew is we can't just go there and say `please help us because we lost our loved ones,'" Karen Eckert said.
"We knew we had to be organized," Bourque said, recalling Beverly's ability to boil down issues to talking points which she could take to lawmakers.
Beverly’s own courage and determination showed us the way. After the loss of Sean, she made a commitment to work for changes that would keep a horror such as the events of 9/11 from ever happening again. Because of her efforts and those of other 9/11 Family members, our country is a safer place.
We mirror her commitment today in another critical area: to improve airline safety for all. We are working to bring about changes in the airline industry that will prevent fatigued, undertrained and underpaid pilots from entering the cockpit. Accomplishing that is our commitment to our sister and her legacy.
05 August 2009
04 August 2009
29 May 2009
Beverly Ann Eckert was born this day 58 years ago, and it became apparent as she ran, hopped and skipped through her youth that she was an exceptional girl who loved to play. She grew up in Eggertsville, NY, a few miles from Buffalo. She attended St. Benedict's School from kindergarten to grade 8. Beverly had a brother, Raymond, and three sisters: Susan, Karen and Margaret (Margot). And they played, oh, how they played. But Beverly was not just one of the pack. She stood out, even then. Beverly could "could out-bike, out-dodgeball, and out-hide-and-seek the neighborhood gang," as Margot wrote in her poem, "Strong Women." The young Beverly was active, creative and gregarious -- jumping rope, building forts, dressing up like a cowgirl and getting swept up in the Mickey Mouse Club fad as a Mouseketeer.
Beverly Ann Eckert attended Sacred Heart Academy, and teachers and friends saw she had an artist's eye, a writer's ear, and the passionate heart of a true romantic. She was fascinated by the idea of love. During her high school years, Beverly's creativity and social life blossomed. At SHA, an all-girl Catholic school, Bev wrote poetry, drew pictures, participated in drama, played basketball and took a turn at student politics. Her friends and teachers noticed she had a certain flair, a talent, a drive. What Beverly wanted to accomplish, she did. And like so many young people rushing toward adulthood, Bev wanted to fall in love. One of her best friends, Kathleen DeLaney, described how Bev eagerly counted down the days to her fifteenth birthday, and on May 31, 1966 joyously announced "I can date!"
Then she went to the dance that changed her life. In the fall of 1967, Bev met Sean Rooney in a crowded Buffalo high school gym. Sean was a thin young man with thick, curly, dark hair and a bright smile that warmed those around him. Soon they began to date, but it was not a fairy-tale romance the whole time. There were rough patches, as on any road, more like the parental troubles of Romeo and Juliet than the glass slipper of Cinderella. When Bev's parents said she could not see Sean, she did not listen. And upon her 18th birthday, in 1969, Beverly left home, went to work and went through some hard times so she could follow her heart. "It was a real struggle to make ends meet," she had said. "Okay, so the right to date whomever you want isn't exactly in the Constitution," she added, "but ever since that time I haven't been afraid of adversity or the consequences... of standing up for what I believe in."
Beverly started her studies as an art major in 1969 at SUNY College at Buffalo (now known as Buffalo State). She and Sean moved in together two years later, and as their love and commitment grew they bought a two-family house together in 1973. In 1976, after seven years of full-time work and part-time studies Bev got her Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree. In addition to her coursework, she had put in long hours at AM&A's Department Store, Mother's Bakery Restaurant, and the Sign of the Steer Restaurant and Bar, where Sean also worked. For a couple years after graduation Beverly worked as a potter, selling her wares as she could. Then began her career in the world of insurance with a job at Travelers Insurance, first in Buffalo in 1978, and then at branches in Massachusetts.
On June 14, 1980, in a simple ceremony in the back yard of her sister's home in East Aurora, NY, Beverly Ann Eckert married Sean P. Rooney. The high school sweethearts had become college loves and then wife and husband. They were so close in life and in the minds of their relatives and friends that they became SeanandBev, one word, one love, one life. Oh, such a love. They never had children because all they wanted in the world was each other. They were partners. He cooked, she cleaned, they both worked on the houses they lived in. And at the end of a hard day, Sean would walk through the door and say to Bev, "Where's my hug." And Bev would remember: "Sean was a good hugger." Food was always important, and in the kitchen Sean was in charge while Bev offered a hand and a glass of wine, whichever was needed. After a good meal, they would sit together and talk quietly and be thankful for the life they had made for themselves.
In her working life Beverly was strong and determined, pushing firmly against a culture of ingrained sexism. She said that women were not permitted in the corporate dining room of Travellers when she first arrived at the company. "What I experienced throughout my insurance career was life as a minority, an outsider, often the only female at a meeting or in the room." Despite this, Beverly rose through the ranks, becoming a vice president and manager at General Reinsurance. "I can say I had a successful career," she said, "but it was seldom comfortable. I had to respect myself in an environment that seemed to want me to feel otherwise, just like when I was poor."
For their 50th birthdays in the year 2001, they did something special. Beverly and Sean gave each other the gift of travel. She chose Morocco for her birthday, and he chose Vermont for his. But no matter where they were, it was in each others' company that they were the most fully contented. Beverly said once to me how happy they had become with their lives that last summer they spent together in their Stamford, CT home. Beverly said she was sitting with Sean at the back door one evening, drinking wine and watching the fireflies come out. And Sean said that if he'd died right then, it wouldn't be so bad, because he'd lived such a good and full life.
Happy birthday, Beverly.
27 May 2009
This was supposed to be a very special year in Beverly Eckert's long relationship with her high school alma mater, Buffalo's Sacred Heart Academy. She had been busy helping to organize her Class of 1969's fortieth reunion, planned for June. And on top of that, in the winter of 2008, she learned that she was selected to receive Sacred Heart's highest alumna honor at a fundraising dinner in May. The announcement appeared in the winter issue of the school's alumni magazine, the Cordecho.
12 May 2009
29 April 2009
KING: An extraordinary lady died on that flight. She was Beverly Eckert. Three of her friends join us now from Buffalo -- Kathleen Delaney, a very close friend of the victim. Carol Bauda, who was one of her oldest friends. They met in kindergarten. And Kathy Matthews, as well.
Beverly was -- how extraordinary, she became an active -- advocate for the victims after 9/11.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEVERLY ECKERT, 9/11 WIDOW: It's hard to turn around and see the whole in the skyline where my husband's building used to be. If this bill doesn't pass, I don't think I'll ever -- I don't think I'll ever be able to go back there. I think I'll be too ashamed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: All right, Kathleen DeLaney, tell us about Beverly.
What was she like?
KATHLEEN DELANEY, KNEW CRASH VICTIM BEVERLY ECKERT: Well, I had the fortune of sitting in front of Beverly pretty much my entire high school career because we were alphabetically arranged. And she was -- she was just always a lot of fun to be around. She instigated a lot of pranks. But she was just -- she was just a wonderful person who knew her mind and -- which I think is one of the things that this high school that we attended, Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart, really, really promoted.
We -- this was an all girls' school. And at the time when we were in school, it was just a good, solid place for young women who may not have had the opportunity had they been in another type of a school to develop their leadership roles.
KING: Carol, you go...
KING: Carol, you go back to kindergarten right?
CAROL BAUDA, KNEW CRASH VICTIM BEVERLY ECKERT: Yes, we went to grammar school together, kindergarten, high school. And we were thick as thieves right along. And we got into mischief together. And Bev was just so much fun. She had so much energy and she was very creative. People don't know that she was an excellent artist, painter and potter and just so creative. We had a lot of fun together. Very close.
KING: Kathy Mathews, how well did you know her?
KATHLEEN MATHEWS, KNEW CRASH VICTIM BEVERLY ECKERT: I knew her through the four years at Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart and some years beyond into adulthood. I saw her, you know, fairly recently, as well.
I knew her as one of the bright lights in our class. She was the person who drew a lot of friends to her. And she was -- in a girls' school, sometimes it could be cliquey and different. But Bev was one of the people who was sort of an equal opportunity friend. A lot of people truly got to know her well and we think of her fondly.
KING: She just met with President Obama a week ago. He paid tribute to her today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, tragic events such as these remind us of the fragility of life and the value of every single day. One person who understood that well was Beverly Eckert, who was on that flight and who I met with just a few days ago.
Now, you see, Beverly lost her husband on 9/11 and became a tireless advocate for those families whose lives were forever changed on that September day. And in keeping with that passionate commitment, she was on her way to Buffalo to mark what would have been her husband's birthday and launch a scholarship in his memory.
So she was an inspiration to me and to so many others. And I pray that her family finds peace and comfort in the hard days ahead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Kathleen, are you surprised that she became the advocate she became?
But I talked to Bev Wednesday night. She was coming into town for Sean's scholarship. And she was due to have had dinner at our house tonight. And I asked her about meeting Obama. And she said to -- she immediately told me, I'll tell you all about it Friday night. But she let me know that she was scanning a napkin that she had pinched from underneath his water bottle. And this morning -- this morning I had that e-mail that she had sent off to me. And there it was -- the presidential seal on a napkin.
KING: Carol, did she...
MATHEWS: That was the type of -- she loved saving things.
KING: Carol, did she have children?
BAUDA: No. She did not have children, but she had nephews and a niece. And so they were very close to her. She was the fun aunt that they all loved to be with.
KING: And her life had changed.
She had a boyfriend now, didn't she?
BAUDA: Yes, uh-huh.
KING: Were they planning...
BAUDA: He is a wonderful guy.
KING: Were they planning to get married? BAUDA: Oh, not at this point, I don't think. But, you know, he's just -- he was very, you know, a very loving person to her and very understanding of the things she had to go through for what she had to do politically.
MATHEWS: She was trying to move on with her life as best she could while always, always revering Sean's legacy.
KING: Any funeral plans that you know of, ladies?
BAUDA: Not at this point.
KING: Well, this is the hardest thing in the world, not just to lose a relative, but to lose a friend.
Quickly, we have -- what will you remember the most, Kathleen?
[DELANEY, not MATHEWS]: Oh, just -- just Bev. I mean, she's -- she was just all present. And one of the things that really struck me, especially after Sean died, was just how close she brought all of us together. She was always concerned for us. And when we were trying to make calls today, she was the one who had the phone numbers, so we were lost.
KING: Carol, what will you remember?
BAUDA: Her boundless energy. It's just amazing. Every time I spoke with her, she was flying off one place or another, on some committee, this committee, all over. And whether it was the scholarship fund or memorials, even in her own hometown or here, it was just amazing, her energy level.
KING: And, Kathy, what will you remember the most?
[MATHEWS, not DELANEY: I'll remember her quick intellect and her creativeness and mostly I'm going to remember how steadfastly she pursued justice for the victims and the families from 9/11.
She was an amazing woman.
Thank you all, ladies.
We appreciate this.
27 April 2009
On a warm and sunny spring day in Stamford, some 50 family, friends and well-wishers of Beverly Eckert gathered to remember, to dedicate, to say words of praise. Some earth was turned, the roots of a Princeton elm were nestled in a new home, and those gathered took some quiet time to recall a life whose wide-reaching, generous branches touched so many.
20 April 2009
10 April 2009
There are several bizarre and unfounded notions about Beverly Eckert's views and actions floating around in cyberspace. I have read, for example, that at her Feb. 6 meeting with President Obama, she was supposed to have asked him to establish another 9/11 commission to finish the job left undone by the original one. Like other examples of such internet hogwash, this one can be easily discredited by perusing the facts. Beverly never called for another investigation once the 9/11 commission released its final report. Instead, she and her colleagues worked tirelessly to have the report's recommendations implemented. Two of the main 9/11-related issues which did occupy her time were supporting the work of the WMD Commission and pressing for the closure of the Guantanamo dention facilities, ending the military commission tribunals, and bringing the terror suspects to trial.
After her meeting with Obama, Beverly gave me a detailed account of the meeting, its genesis, and a copy of the letter she handed to one of the president's aides at the meeting. Here it is, simple and direct:
February 6, 2009
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
RE: Justice Not Vengeance
Dear Mr. President,
On 9/11, my husband was killed by terrorists. The self-confessed mastermind of the plot, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, has been in US custody for several years. Along with other 9/11 families, I want to see him, and his alleged co-conspirators, face their accusers in a court of law. I fervently hope there is independent, irrefutable, corroborating evidence that can be used by the prosecution to achieve legitimate convictions. But I have a sickening fear that the over-zealous actions of US officials, through use of torture and other illegal tactics, have tainted the evidence by which those responsible for 9/11 would otherwise be convicted. If that proves to be the case, it would be the ultimate, unspeakable injustice.
When confronted with defendants accused of crimes against humanity on the scale of September 11th, the depth of our nation’s commitment to the principle of justice is severely tested. I believe, Mr. President, that under your moral guidance and with your profound respect for the rule of law, America can pass this test.
There is a saying that justice delayed is justice denied. I believe that you have the courage to take the difficult but necessary steps that will allow the rule of law to finally take its course. To this end, I ask that you release the Guantanamo detainees against whom there are no prosecutable charges and bring the rest to trial on American soil. I beg you to proceed with urgency and determination where others have faltered. Let justice, not vengeance, at long last be served.
Widow of Sean Rooney, WTC
26 March 2009
NTSB investigation of Fight 3407 crash focuses on flight crew training, performance; public hearings slated for May in DC
The National Transportation and Safety Board reported yesterday that its continuing investigation of the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 outside Buffalo found that while there was "some" icing , it did not affect the plane's performance, and that flight data recorder analysis seemed to indicate that the pilot's actions after a stall warning set the plane on its fatal course.
25 March 2009
17 March 2009
In the all-too-short time she was with us, Beverly Eckert seemed to live many lives. One of them was as first-mate, galley helper, and Scrabble master on the wistfully named catamaran "Neverland."
16 March 2009
When Beverly Eckert decided to do something, it got done. In my article for the History News Network about her visit with President Obama, this was one aspect of her character that I wanted to highlight: her persistence and focus. She was among a small group of 9/11 family members who closely followed how al-Qaeda suspects were being brought to justice (or not). And Beverly made sure that her voice was heard regarding, for example, the detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay, even at times when the Bush administration preferred to push aside critics of its policies.
14 March 2009
13 March 2009
11 March 2009
For all its many faults, the Internet can be a great tool for teaching, remembering and reaching out. Beverly's desire to leave behind her memories and a record of her post-9/11 activities has resulted in small caches of treasure online.
09 March 2009
Beverly had told me about her recent volunteer activities, tutoring and building, but in this Lisa Chamoff article I learned for the first time that helping the poor and homeless years ago were also among Beverly's kind and generous acts.
05 March 2009
My little girl sisterRay Eckert, Beverly's brother, read a passage written by Martin Luther King, Jr.
could out bike, out dodge ball, and out hide and seek the
fort building, tree climbing, cowboy hat and Cisco Kidding,
mouseketeering, red wagoneering
jump roping, hop scotching,
Playground pal, was my little girl sister.
If a man or a woman happens to be 36 years old, as I happen to be,The eulogy was delivered by Bill Bourque, Beverly's brother-in-law. For family members, it reminded them of happier times, before the day that horribly changed her life. And for those of us who only knew the "activist Beverly," the tales of outings and projects and loving family connections made us smile and realize there was so much more to Beverly's life than trips to Washington, vigils and interviews.
and some great truth stands before the door of their life,
some great opportunity to stand up for what is right and that which is just,
and he or she refuses to stand up because of a desire to live a little longer,
or he or she is afraid to lose a job.
They may go on and live to be 80,
and the cessation of breathing in their life
is merely the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.
We die when we refuse to stand up for that which is right.
We die when we refuse to take a stand for that which is true.
So we are going to stand up right here,
Letting the world know we are determined to be free.
When she first met Sean, Sean's younger brother Ben asked Sean to "make her go away". Since this was 40 plus years ago and Ben was only four at the time, we have not held this against him. Fortunately, Beverly didn’t go away. If there is anything that best describes her, it is loyalty to family and friends. She loved her nieces and nephews as if they were her own children. She followed their successes and their struggles and talked about them often. She broadened our children’s horizons with trips to New York City and Boston; to Thanksgiving Day parades and the Freedom Trail. ..to Faneuil Hall and to Central Park. We all knew that if you visited Beverly and Sean you better get a good night's sleep. You would be up early. No sitting around. A long, strenuous day was ahead. But we had fun... great fun.
The House of Representatives yesterday voted 419 to 0 to approve Resolution 201 to recognize the service of Beverly Eckert to the nation, and in particular to survivors and families of victims of the 9/11 attacks. (Twelve House members did not vote on the resolution.)
28 February 2009
Beverly Eckert came to work with, befriend and respect a number of people in Washington, DC. One of her closest allies in her "Washington work" was Tim Roemer, a former congressman from Indiana who became a member of the 9-11 Commission, and who later took on the leadership of the Center for National Policy, a DC think tank.
26 February 2009
Beverly was known best for her 9-11 work, but once the bulk of that was finished, she devoted herself more to service in her community. For example, in October she wrote to me: "Tonight I met with the mayor of Stamford to try to move along a neighborhood beautification project that everybody else has given up on." It makes me wonder whether this project will be completed now that Beverly's persistent oversight will be missing. As noted earlier, Beverly was also a voluteer for Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County. In a tribute to her work, the staff wrote, "Beverly's selfless attitude, persevering spirit, and compassionate heart, live on in all we do."
This fall she began volunteering as tutor in math and reading for students in grades 2-5. And so it is appropriate that the site of her memorial service in Connecticut will be the Julia A. Stark Elementary School, not far from her house in the Glenbrook section of Stamford. Beverly was both charmed and somewhat daunted by this new challenge. Although she loved children, she had never taught them before. But Beverly went every week to help her "little sweeties." Beverly was impressed with the school and the students. "I've discovered elementary school is sure a lot harder now than when I went. They really challenge the kids to think -- it's not just rote..."
The service is planned for 11 a.m. on March 7, and a reception will follow in the school's cafeteria.
23 February 2009
The plan, before all of this, was to arrange a trip to Buffalo with Beverly, and she would be my tour guide of the landscape of her life before moving off to Boston and New Jersey and Stamford. She was going to show me people and places from her life before September 11, 2001.
My tour of Buffalo this past weekend was shorter and sadder than the one I had earlier planned.
It was a city still in mourning for the 50 lives lost in the crash of Flight 3407. I checked in on Friday afternoon at the Lord Amherst Hotel, which sits on Main St. where it crosses Interstate 90, just a few miles from the airport. In this simple, but homey medium-sized lodging Beverly would stay when her relatives had no spare beds. I decided to drive down Main St., toward Clarence and the site of the crash.
At schools, offices and firehouses, flags flew at half mast. Sign boards contained messages of condolence to those lost. And along the road to Clarence Center, the each light post was tied with two plastic ribbons: one black, one white. The Zion Lutheran Church's sign had a message offering counseling services. The roads leading to the crash site were guarded by New York State Troopers, sitting in their vehicles, engine's idling to ward off the blustery cold. Only the cleanup crews could enter. Heavy digging vehicles filled dump truck after dump truck with soil and debris from the crash site. A Buffalo News article reported that all that was left once the crews were done was crushed stone to fill the crash crater. An officials said the site would be graded and seeded come spring. Karen Wielinksi, whose husband died when the plane came down on their house on Long Street, said that for now the site will remain vacant.
The Buffalo News article about the service noted that Beverly's brother-in-law, Bill Bourque, "also reflected on her relentless drive in the face of losing her husband."
“In the aftermath of Sept. 11," he said, "she gained access to the powerful and became well-known and well-respected. We knew she was not in it for herself. She was in it so that this should never happen to anyone again. Because of her, our nation became a safer place. She was one of the main reasons the powerful moved at all, because nothing is more powerful than the simple, clear truth.”