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

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Ian J. Gray

Age: 55

Hometown: Columbia, Md., USA

Occupation: President, McBee Associates

Location: Passenger, American Flight 77, Pentagon

"Ian liked fantasy and science fiction. I think that's why he liked dragons. When I met Ian, I said, 'Oh my God, this guy likes dragons,' you know, because I thought of dragons as tattoos. But then I got to understand. I understood what they meant to him. And the funny thing is I'm having a real hard time giving them away. I have attachment to these guys because they came into my life with him. Now they keep me company." -- Ana Raley, wife

Profile:

Scotland-born Ian J. Gray, 55, of the District, was president of a large national consulting firm on health care finance, McBee Associates of Columbia. He boarded American Airlines Flight 77 from Dulles International Airport to Los Angeles for business meetings in California and planned to go on to Seattle before returning home Sunday.

His wife is Ana Raley, chief executive of Greater Southeast Community Hospital and leader of the District's recently privatized indigent health care system. She was at work when televised news reports made her fear that one of the crashed jetliners was his.

Within an hour, American confirmed that it was and that she had lost her husband of eight years. "This is horrible," she said. "He was in perfect health. We have been the happiest couple in the world."

Gray immigrated to the United States in 1968. His first marriage ended in divorce, and he leaves a daughter in Baltimore.

Raley said she hopes her son, a Navy fighter pilot serving in Japan, can come home soon to be with her. But his unit is in a state of high alert, so he isn't sure when that might be.

A memorial service was held for Gray at the hospital's auditorium yesterday, and Raley said she now must plan a funeral. "I'm going to have a bagpiper and all the things he liked," she said.

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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