|Bernard Curtis Brown II|
Ten years and two days ago, an estimated 3,051 children and teenagers lost parents in the terrorist attacks. Three eleven-year-olds actually lost their lives. Asia Cottom, Bernard Curtis Brown, and Rodney Dickens of Washington, D.C. boarded Flight 77, the one that crashed into the pentagon. They were meant to go to the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary for an educational field trip.
Rodney grew up in a tough neighborhood, but he avoided trouble and worked hard. He loved reading, computer games, and watching wrestling matches on TV. He always made the honor roll and must have been exhilarated when he had the opportunity to go an this amazig sponsored field trip.
Bernard played soccer and football, but his true love was basketball. He had been on teams since the age of seven. First thing on Saturday mornings, he would go out and shoot hoops. He always said he would play professionally someday. He was clever, the kind of kid who keeps teachers on their toes. That's why his teacher gave his name when asked who she thought deserved to go on a field trip. Bernard's father worked in the pentagon, but he was out golfing when the attacks occured.
Asia loved purses, dancing, jump roping, science, math, and Tweety Bird. She wanted to be a peditrician when she grew up. She was interested in computers and wanted her classmates to learn as much about them as she did. Her teachers were challenged to help her expand her horizons. Asia was excited for her field trip and spent hours on the internet researching National Geographic. She was also enthusiastic about her faith. She studied the bible on her own and wrote notes on the more challenging passages. On the night after the crash, her mother told Asia's teacher, "Mrs. Jones, my baby got her wings today."
Mrs. Jones responded,"We have to live right so we can get our wings when it is our time."