The loss of life five years ago Monday was enormous, but the tragedy is even more profound when you consider the impact of just one death that day — that of Maureen L. Olson.
Christopher and Maeve Olson, high school students in 2001, lost their mother.
No more birthdays.
No more Christmases.
John Eric Olson lost his wife.
No more walks through the streets of her beloved Manhattan.
"We met in 1979 on a blind date in New York," her husband told the New York Times in 2001. At that time, "She lived on 65th Street and First Avenue. But in the 1960’s and 1970’s she lived up in the high East 90’s.
"In the past year or so she had been looking around to move back to the city. I am sure we would have."
Marian Masone, who first met Maureen more than 30 years at Manhattan Marymount College, lost a dear friend.
"Her sister and my sister were two years ahead of us,” Masone told the New York Times. “We even dropped out of college the same day, in the middle of our junior year. Eventually, we both went back."
Maureen’s colleagues at Marsh Inc., a risk and insurance firm at the World Trade Center, lost a trusted co-worker. Maureen was a business librarian for the company.
“Maureen was a good friend and colleague,” Bill Gardner wrote on a tribute page for Maureen. “She was always there for me when I ‘needed something’ from the Info Center and I was always there for her when she became inundated with questions she didn't know how to answer relating to Workers Compensation from all over the Marsh system. I miss you and our phone conversations.”
Maureen L. Olson, who would have turned 51 on Oct. 12, 2001, was like the rest of us.
She loved her family.
She loved her work.
She loved her life.
How do you measure the loss?
I do not know.
But one thing is certain — it is vital that we never forget Maureen L. Olson and every other life that was lost that day.
We owe it to them.
And to those closest to them that they left to remember.
For more about Maureen, read a Sept. 19, 2001, profile in Newsday.
And to see her tribute on the 9/11 Victims Memorial Quilt, go here.
If you knew Maureen, please leave a comment.
For profiles of the other victims of 9/11, visit the ”2,996” project.
Here are some that I have read: