08 November 2010

Back to Buffalo, Part 1

I drove up to Buffalo in October to continue my research for the book. I focused on gathering information about Beverly and Sean during their early years, speaking with their friends and relatives, and visiting places that were important in their lives.

Karen Eckert kindly shared her memories of Beverly, and guided me around Buffalo. One of the places we visited was Forest Lawn Cemetery and Crematory, where the Eckert family placed a beautiful bronze plaque over Beverly's resting place. Karen said that she and the other siblings (Susan Bourque, Margot Eckert and Ray Eckert) had devoted a great deal of thought and care to the words on the plaque. It is a difficult thing to summarize in a short space the talents, accomplishments, spirit and love of an exceptional person. I think they succeeded:

Born May 29, 1951
Died February 12, 2009

In the crash of Continental Flight 3407
In Clarence Center, New York
Widow of her beloved high school sweetheart
Sean P. Rooney
Who died September 11, 2001
In the attack on the World Trade Center

Beverly was a tireless advocate for the families of the victims of 9/11
A leader in the establishment of the 9/11 Commission
And Co-founder of Voices of September 11th

A lover of beauty
A writer, an artist, a poet
A constant source of amazement and fun
Generous of spirit
Dedicated to her family and friends
And the principles of justice
She lived her life extraordinarily well

Devoted in love, Beverly and Sean are together now
"Happily Ever-Aftering"

"...The evening sky has deepened into darkness on a soft summer night. We are sitting on the stone step near the kitchen door, watching the fireflies rise in the backyard over the newly mowed lawn. Friends are expected for dinner. A steak is on the grill, a glass of wine in hand.... we are laughing.... we are content."

-Beverly Eckert-

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