Maryland is moving ahead with plans to honor its residents who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks with a memorial featuring beams from the toppled North Tower of New York City's World Trade Center.
Memorial organizers say the piece, to be displayed in front of Baltimore's World Trade Center in time for the 10th anniversary, will be all the more poignant because U.S. special forces have killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
The names of victims who considered Maryland home are to be inscribed in the marble base. Organizers have identified 63 such people. But careful readers of The Baltimore Sun will remember a different number -- 43 -- mentioned by Gov. Martin O'Malley when the mangled beams arrived in November.
Memorial committee chairman Randall "Rand" Griffin explained how the list of victims grew by 20 in the past few months.
Committee members contacted state and federal agencies that deal directly with 9/11 victims' families and found that there were a number of victims who, while not living in Maryland at the time of the attacks, had strong ties to the Free State.
Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr. of The Baltimore Sun
Griffin said memorial organizers then spoke with those families and asked whether they thought of their loved one as a Marylander.
Now, the memorial will include both victims who'd been living in the state at the time of the attacks and those who grew up here and considered it home.
Honor Elizabeth Wainio, 27, and Daniel McNeal, 29, were two Marylanders who weren't included in the original list of 43. (Relatives of both are featured in a Sun story this morning by Liz Kay and Childs Walker.)
Wainio died in the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pa. As her tribute page explains, Wainio was a former resident of Catonsville who graduated from Catonsville High School and Towson University. She moved to New Jersey in April 200 for a position as regional manager for the Discovery Channel stores.
McNeal died in the attacks at the World Trade Center. His tribute page includes stories from fellow Loyola Blakefield High School graduates. He went on to graduate from Boston College and Georgetown University before moving to New York to work as a financial analyst.
As McNeal's mother, Kathryn "Kitty" McNeal, said, Maryland "was his hometown. It's significant for his hometown to honor him."