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

Photo of

Robert J. Maxwell

Age: 53

Hometown: Manassas, Va., USA

Occupation: Civilian employee, U.S. Army

Location: Ground, Pentagon

Profile:

Robert Maxwell, 56, always arranged his slippers in the same spot next to the bed, always hung his robe on the bathroom door hook, and, before hitting the sack, always left his coffee cup on top of the microwave -- with a spoon on top.

Maxwell was not a military man. But he served as a civilian budget analyst for the Army, working at the Pentagon when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building last week.

"And here he was married to this flaky psychologist -- it used to drive him crazy," joked his wife, Karen Greenberg, 46, of Manassas. "But he did have his wild side."

It was indeed Maxwell's lighter and quirkier side that made his marriage to Greenberg work. She was impressed by his sarcastic jabs at some of the absurd shows on television and how he would give her two cards for romantic occasions -- "One ridiculous, one sincere," Greenberg said.

Three years ago, at the beginning of their relationship, Greenberg invited him to dinner at her Alexandria home so he could meet her father. He didn't bring flowers. He didn't bring candy. His genius idea? Stuffed Asian duck feet.

"We never ate them. I threw them away because they were disgusting to look at. Obviously he was confident, and it took some thought," she said. "Anybody can bring you flowers."

After they married in June 1998, they eased into the predictable rhythms of marriage, and Greenberg easily befriended Tanner, 19, Maxwell's son from his first marriage.

Greenberg and Maxwell had their usual disagreements over what to cook and which music to play. He liked shrimp creole and cranking up Janis Joplin. She liked Middle Eastern food and Billy Joel.

"We were very much the odd couple. I hated that music, but I'll miss it now. He loved Janis, especially that line, 'Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.' "

-- Ian Shapira

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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