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September 11 Memorial: Remembering the victims who died at the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania

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Cecelia E. Richard

Age: 41

Hometown: Fort Washington, Md., USA

Occupation: Accounting technician, U.S. Army

Location: Ground, Pentagon

"When my wife wasn't working at the Pentagon, she liked catering and working on the club level at the Redskin home games. She never missed a day. She took a lot of pride in her work, especially the catering. It was a family business she worked with her sister. I gave a lot of my wife's personal items to her mother, but I am keeping her FedEx uniform and her white catering shirt in my closet. This is where I want them to be." --Michael Richard, husband

Profile:

Cecelia E. Richard had a great love of God, family, the Washington Redskins and her mixed-breed Labrador, whom relatives said she coddled like a baby.

The 41-year-old Fort Washington resident held many jobs at the Department of Defense in the last two decades. She was working as an accounting technician for the Department of the Army the day that American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the Pentagon.

Even though rescue crews are becoming increasingly skeptical that anyone else will be found alive amid the rubble, Richard's family members are holding out hope. Richard is listed as unaccounted for.

"I am keeping the faith that my baby still may come home as well as others," Mazie Lawson said as she spoke of the youngest of her seven children. "If they can bring one person out, whether it is my child or not, it can let people see what God is and that prayer changes things."

Richard grew up in Southwest Washington and landed her first job with the Department of Defense after graduating from high school. She spent her free time listening to jazz, going on family trips and attending church.

"She liked jazz. She was always considerate of her family," said her husband, Michael Richard. Family members said Richard also had a passion for the Redskins and worked every home game, collecting tickets at the gates at FedEx Field.

Richard had three sisters and three brothers. Her sister Renee Baldwin said she always found ways to help others.

"It is very devastating and unbelievable," Baldwin said. "I am still trusting in God."

Lawson said that since Sept. 11, she has clung to one passage of Scripture in particular, Psalms 70: "Make haste, O God to deliver me, make haste to help me, O Lord."

-- Hamil R. Harris

Source: The Washington Post, AP and washingtonpost.com

The profiles in this feature were written in the months following Sept. 11, 2001.

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Timeline

A day after the 9/11 attacks a makeshift memorial was created on the Arlington Memorial Cemetery fence. Seven years later, the first 9/11 memorial is opening.

Related Coverage:

3-Dimensional Virtual Memorial

Victims Remembered in Maryland

One Family's Loss

Stepping Through the Ashes

Pentagon Under Attack

Five Year Anniversary Coverage


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