Since I first learned of her efforts and posted on them, I have followed Debra Burlingame's story. The depths of her steely courage, fierce outrage, and unwavering determination to fight against diluting the memory of the 9/11 victims, particularly her brother, is inspiring.
"Take Back the Memorial" was her battle to stop the International Freedom Center at Ground Zero in New York, to prevent the cheapening of the 9/11 deaths that were American casualties of war. She fought on behalf of her brother, Charles Burlingame, the pilot of Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon, as well as for all the 9/11 victims. Even under formidable pressure and duress, she would not give up. She fought as valiantly, as fiercely, as any soldier.
This week, Debra won her victory. I was among the tens of thousands who signed her petition. But that was the smallest thing I could do for this greatest of sisters. I can only hope that, in her shoes, I would have had the inner fire, the perseverance, and the dedication to travel the rough road this brave and remarkable woman did.
Wherever her big brother is, he is smiling.