Lt. Jonas Martin Panik
Hometown: Mingoville, Pa., USA
Location: Ground, Pentagon
"We opened the time capsule several days after Jonas's funeral. It was a tall gallon jug sealed in papier-mache. The cartoon was folded, and he had written 'Open' on the outside. We saw the two towers and the airplane, and we knew that his last intelligence work was on the twin towers. We're still figuring this out. For this to come out, the very last event that he's working on, and to have it so connected, there's not words for that. Is it a message? Is it a premonition? We feel it's quite spiritual. We're comforted by it. We're not skeptical. We're not scared." -- Linda and Martin Panik, parents
As a boy, Lt. Jonas Martin Panik, 26, dreamed of attending a military academy, and in May 1997, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a degree in history. As a naval intelligence officer, he spent the years since being commissioned touring the world.
Recently, he had been based at the Pentagon, where he was working Tuesday morning.
Panik grew up in Mingoville, Pa., the older of two children. When his sister, Martina, gave birth to her first child, she named him Andrew Jonas in honor of her brother.
On Labor Day weekend, Panik went home for his father's birthday and a family picnic. "He got to see people he hadn't seen in several years because of his deployments," said his mother, Linda.
Panik was married and lived in a town house purchased a year ago in a newly developed neighborhood in Odenton, where homeowners spend evenings chatting on street corners, walking the dog and jogging behind babies in three-wheeled strollers.
The Navy was classifying Panik as "unaccounted for," and his mother and father are clinging to that description. "Our hearts," Linda Panik said as her husband, Martin, wept beside her, "are praying for a miracle."
-- Darragh Johnson
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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