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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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Lt. Col. Jerry Don Dickerson Jr.

Age: 41

Hometown: Durant, Miss., USA

Occupation: U.S. Army, U.S. Army

Location: Ground, Pentagon

"As many things as D.D. liked, I don't know what he liked more than just sitting down and eating and talking with people. I remember when he was 12 years old. We lived in Yazoo City, Mississippi, and it was a Saturday and I was cooking dinner--fried chicken and chocolate pie; okra was out of season. The phone rang. He knew by my conversation that our neighbor had had a tragedy and he knew by our tradition that his food was fixing to leave the house. When I got off the phone he said, 'Mama, you can take them the chicken and the chocolate pie, but please don't ask me to carry it.' . . . He did go with me, and he did carry the pie. Even as a young child, he knew what it was to give and to share." -- Carolyn Hicks, mother

Profile:

If there were a definition of Army values in the dictionary, Jerry D. Dickerson's picture would sit right next to it, said a longtime friend and fellow military man, Lt. Col. Glenn W. Harp.

"For him, it was selfless service," Harp said. "He cared more for others than he did for himself."

Family and country came first for Dickerson.

The 41-year-old lieutenant colonel was working at the Pentagon when it was struck by one of Tuesday's hijacked planes. Dickerson, who is reported among the missing, worked on operations research and systems analysis. "He was a key player in molding and shaping the future of the United States Army," Harp said.

Dickerson lived with his wife, Page, and two children, Will, 11, and Beth, 15, in Springfield. He was born in Mississippi, studied economics at Mississippi State and received a master's degree in engineering from Texas A&M University.

He started out in ROTC, then served in the National Guard and joined the Army in 1983, said his brother-in-law, David Dantzler.

He may not have been well-known among civilians, Dantzler said, "but he had an immediate impact on anybody he met along the way."

-- Maureen O'Hagan

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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