Hometown: Washington, D.C., USA
Occupation: Student, Ketcham Elementary School (Washington)
Location: Passenger, American Flight 77, Pentagon
Rodney Dickens grew up in tough Washington neighborhoods where danger lurks on most every corner, but he avoided it.
Then he went to Dulles International Airport with a teacher from Ketcham Elementary School, boarded American Airlines Flight 77 to California and became part of the deadliest tragedy in U.S. history.
Rodney was an 11-year-old sixth-grader who had always made the honor roll, as have his two sisters -- one a year older, one a year younger. His little brothers, 6 and 4, will be expected to do the same thing.
Rodney loved reading, playing computer games and playing with his siblings. He was close to his mother, LaShawn, who is raising the youngsters as a single parent, with the help of her large extended family.
But his favorite thing in the world, said his aunt Cynthia Dickens, was watching professional wrestling on television. He'd watch in the family apartment in Congress Heights and his grandmother's apartment a few blocks away. He'd go to his uncle's house to catch pay-per-view.
"I don't care what he was doing, he made it home to see wrestling," Cynthia Dickens said.
-- Debbi Wilgoren
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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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.