Like James D. Debeuneure, 58, of Upper Marlboro, a fifth-grade teacher at Ketcham Elementary School in the District, Taylor was headed to California to chaperone a National Geographic field trip. All six died aboard American Airlines Flight 77 as it slammed into the building that symbolized America’s military might.
Seventeen others from Prince George’s died inside, going about their daily work. Their deaths showed the world how tenuous our security was, even at a place like the Pentagon.
“I never even worried about my husband,” said Martha Jackson-Holley, 67, of Upper Marlboro, whose husband of 18 months, Jimmie Ira Holley, 54, a budget analyst for the Army, was among those killed. “It was the Pentagon. You always thought it was secure.”
On Tuesday, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III laid a wreath near the Peace Cross in Bladensburg to honor the dead and memorialize the heavy price paid by the county.
“Like all Americans, I will never forget where I was on 9/11,” said Baker. “To this day, I remain amazed how united the country and Prince George’s County [were], and, to an often unnoticed degree, still are.”
In a statement Friday, Prince George’s County Council Chair Ingrid M. Turner noted that the 23 Prince George’s residents killed represent “the greatest loss of life among the jurisdictions in this region.”
“While the pain continues, we want their families to know that we will never forget their ultimate sacrifice, and we will always remember their heroism,” she said.
In light of recent threats and the 10th anniversary of the nation’s worst terrorist disaster, some local residents are jittery about Sunday’s Washington Redskins game at FedEx Field in Landover.
The Skins are scheduled to play the New York Giants.
While law enforcement officials in Prince George’s fretted about security, those who lost loved ones in the Pentagon focused on surviving another round of ceremonies to commemorate the dead.
In interviews, they talked about moving on, saying it had been very difficult to do so. Several have relocated, like Teresa Russell, 60, formerly of Oxon Hill. The widow of Robert E. Russell, 52, a civilian budget analyst for the Army, found that living locally brought back too many memories.
Some have stayed away, like Allan Yokum, 64, father of Kevin W. Yokum, 27, of New Carrollton, a sailor who worked as an information systems technician at the Pentagon. The elder Yokum has ventured to the District from his home in Lake Charles, La., only once since the third of his four children was killed.
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Jackson-Holley awoke two days before the 10th anniversary, got dressed and prayed for strength to make it through yet another program to mark the deaths that were caused on that awful day.