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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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Lisa L. Young

Age: 36

Hometown: Germantown, Md., USA

Occupation: Civilian employee, U.S. Army

Location: Ground, Pentagon

“She received the bear about two years ago, on Secretaries’ Day. All of her co-workers chipped in and gave it to her. It was special to her because she worked [in the Pentagon’s Army personnel policy division] a long time. Everybody loved her. They actually looked at her as a sister and as part of the Army family. As soon as she died, I went and took it. It’s just like a memory keeper. It reminds me of her.” -- Chaquita Young, daughter

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Lisa Young, 37, loved working at the Pentagon as a personnel assistant for the Army -- she liked the precision, the sense of purpose, the excitement.

But her first love was her daughter, Chaquita Young, who will turn 18 next month and is a freshman majoring in computer studies at the University of Maryland. Mother and daughter spent endless hours at home in New Carrollton or at the Pentagon City mall, near Young's office. They spoke by phone several times a day and loved being silly together and just generally having a good time.

"Her daughter was her life," said Wanda Rose, 42, Lisa Young's sister. "Chaquita and her mom did everything together. Thay had their own world together. It was just them two."

Now, it is just Chaquita. Lisa Young is among the missing at the Pentagon. Several people in her office, which suffered a direct hit, were in a separate room watching news accounts of the attacks on the World Trade Center and managed to get out of the building. They have told Chaquita that they do not think her mother was at her desk at the moment of the attack, but they do not know precisely where she was.

Chaquita and her family spent Tuesday and Wednesday last week calling hospitals and the military hoping for a miracle. Chaquita said she is "trying to be strong."

Lisa Young was raised in the East Capitol Dwellings apartment complex in the District and graduated on the dean's list from H.D. Woodson High School. She was studying to become a dental hygienist when she became pregnant with Chaquita. She elected to take the civil service exam and in 1986 began working at the Pentagon.

Chaquita said she has long dreamed of becoming a top model and moving to New York City, with her mother coming along as her manager. She loved to tell her mother she would someday buy her a nice new home and car. Now her mother's phone is forwarded to Rose's number, where Chaquita is staying for the foreseeable future. Long ago, Lisa Young asked Rose to take Chaquita if anything happened.

Rose is trying to bolster her niece's spirits but at the same time prepare her to grieve.

"I told her we have the Plan A and the Plan B," Rose said Sunday after a tearful 11 a.m. Mass at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Southeast Washington. "Plan A is, you always hope and trust. The Plan B is . . . we have to face reality."

-- Debbi Wilgoren, The Washington Post


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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