I've signed up for the 2996 project and have been assigned to pay tribute to Robert E. Russell. Below are a variety of excerpts on his life and family. May God bless him and all those that he has touched.
From what I've read, he was a great man to both his family and colleagues. Always dedicated to work and leisure, he seemed to have a bright future ahead of him. His spirit will live on in his family and he'll be missed.
The United States lost over 3,000 citizens that day and it is a shame that we lost a wonderful man like Robert E. Russell.
From the Washington Post:
"He loved to cook. People used to come over all the time to eat what he made. Nobody comes over to eat anymore. My own children didn't even come over to eat what I had cooked on Thanksgiving. It hurt my feelings a little, but he was the cook. He had lots of specialties."
- Teresa Russell, wife
Source: The Washington Post
Robert E. Russell
Robert E. Russell, 52, met his wife at her 16th birthday party. When he proposed to her four years later, he promised to buy her a large house with a white picket fence, take her to Paris and, in their eighties, sit together on their porch with their great-grandchildren.
"Every dream's come true, but not that last one," said Teresa Russell, 50, a human resources specialist at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Her husband, a civilian budgetary supervisor for the Army, worked at the Pentagon and hasn't been seen since the attack. He was born in Columbia, S.C., and raised in Capitol Heights and had received degrees from the University of Maryland and Boston University. He and his wife had three children: Cydne, 30, Robert, 28, and Valerie, 14.
On Friday evening, Teresa Russell sat in her multilevel home on Lindsay Road in Oxon Hill holding two of her six young grandchildren, and she thought of the days ahead. "How can I go back to work and concentrate when there's no closure?" she asked. "My husband's not even buried -- if he is, in fact, dead."
Russell got up from her living room sofa, looked at one of the dozens of pictures of her husband on the walls and smiled. His face, it seemed, brought her some peace.
-- Steven Gray
Robert E. Russell
At first, those who knew Robert E. Russell clung to the hope that--somehow--the veteran Army soldier would have found a way to survive after American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into his Pentagon office.
The 52-year-old civilian supervisory budget analyst and retired Army sergeant major worked in the outer ring of the building's first floor. One friend called him a survivor. His wife, Teresa, whom he met in high school, said her husband was open-hearted, vivacious, a prankster.
"He was that type of person, always keeping something going," she said.
After the crash, Russell's wife, children, grandchildren and friends gathered in the 18th Century home Russell had worked so hard to renovate in Oxon Hill, Md.
"You have to go with your first instinct of hope," said Wilmore Ritchie Jr., a longtime friend and fellow Army retiree who has camped out in the home with Russell's family. "Being that he's a soldier, you would think that he would have found some way."
The pastor notified the family two weeks after the attack.
Russell's body was identified by his fingerprints and his remains were flown to an Air Force casualty center for autopsy. Like the families of many other military victims of last week's terrorist acts, Russell's family plans to have him interred in Arlington National Cemetery.
All that remained now was to receive the body, said Ritchie, still waiting in Russell's house for his friend to come home.
"You couldn't even see this house from the road when he first got it," Ritchie said. "He was always in the process of doing something with it."
The Arlington National Cemtery
University of Southern Alabama - Memorial Scholarship
September 11th Victims List