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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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Sandra L. White

Age: 44

Hometown: Dumfries, Va., USA

Occupation: Civilian employee, U.S. Army

Location: Ground, Pentagon

Profile:

It was at a Miss Black America contest in Williamsburg nearly two decades ago that Oscar White met his soon-to-be wife, Sandra. Even with all those beauties around, he couldn't take his eyes, or mind, off her.

"That night I knew," Oscar White said yesterday of the wife he lost in last week's attack on the Pentagon. He said he was drawn to "her sincerity, kindness, honesty. I had the feeling that I met someone as committed to family and values as I was, and I made up my mind that night I was going to marry her."

Six months later, he did.

Their lives together were marked by their devotion to Christianity, to each other and to their sons -- Oscar III, 17, and Jonathan, 15. On weekends, the family would bowl or fish.

"She even ventured into a one-night stay in the woods," White recalled in an interview from his home in Dumfries. "That was the first and last time she was not in air conditioning, but she did it because it was with family."

Sandra White, 44, was a civilian in the Army budget office, but her husband, a retired Army colonel, said she displayed the fortitude of a soldier. She supported him not only in his daily deeds, he said, but also in much larger ways, such as when she stayed home with their young sons in Virginia while he trained at Fort Hood, Tex., for two years.

"I could not have had a better partner in my wife," he said. "God truly blessed us with 18 years."

-- Steven Ginsberg

<style> #PentmemMemoryWrap { margin-left: 95px; width: 506px; background: #faf7ec; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; color: #2e2e2e; } #PentmemMemoryTop { padding: 14px; } #PentmemMemoryTop img { padding: 0px 0px 0px 10px; } #PentmemMemoryTop .headline { font-size: 12px; font-weight: bold; } #memAuthor { float: right; margin: 2px 20px 20px 0px; font-weight: bold; } .blurb { font-size: 11px; line-height: 16px; margin-left: -92px} </style> <div id="PentmemMemoryWrap"> <div id="PentmemMemoryTop"> <div class="blurb"><p><img src="http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/interactives/pentagonmemorial/images/1692.jpg" align="right" border="0">"After a three-year tour in Germany during which I averaged less than 100 days per year with the family, I was assigned to the Pentagon. Sandra and I endured the shock of the housing market by getting neck deep in debt and purchasing our home. After 14 months, I was selected for Battalion Command and given orders to report to Fort Hood, Tex. </p> <p>Moving meant that Sandra (civil service) would lose her job because of a Department of Defense hiring freeze; and that Oscar III, who started school at 5 would have to start over later (age 6 in Texas). It also meant that if I was reassigned to the Pentagon we might not be able to re-buy the house we were living in.</p> <p> My solution was to retire. Her response was: "I don't want to hear your mouth for the rest of my life." </p> <p>She took care of Oscar III, Jonathan, the house, her job, the finances, yard, cars, and me with calls every day for two years while I was in Texas. I saw her on four visits and the kids only 10 days (in part because of Desert Shield/Desert Storm).</p> <p> Sandra was and continues to be the heart and soul of the family."</p> <div id="memAuthor">-- Col. (R) Oscar N. White Jr., husband <!-- /end memAuthor --></div> <!-- /end blurb --></div> <br> </div> </div>

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.

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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