CMU Memorial

Special dates for remembering our lost ones

And so this day comes each year and I brace myself. The day itself is not quite as emotional anymore (thank goodness), now that it’s been 13 years. Rather than numb myself to the sadness, it’s helped me to understand how other families must also deal with untimely deaths of their loved ones.

A special tree was planted in memory of Lawrence Kim's death. The morning of 9/11 was his first day of work at Marsh & McLennan at the North Tower.

A special tree was planted in memory of Lawrence Kim’s death. The morning of 9/11 was his first day of work at Marsh & McLennan at the North Tower.

Many of us commemorate the passing of a loved one by leaving flowers at a site or by donating to a memorial fund.  My father and I had set up the Lawrence Kim Memorial Fund for undergraduate scholarships at Carnegie Mellon within months after 9/11. The scholarship continues to grow and will outlast all of us.

Worth mentioning is those friends and colleagues who take a moment to share with me that they’re thinking of me and my family. This means an amazing amount. It’s their figurative flower that they’re resting at my brother’s memorial. At Carnegie Mellon University, where my brother graduated, a lovely tree was planted in his honor shortly after Larry was killed on 9/11. The Dean of Humanity and Social Sciences paid tribute to Larry and large numbers of alumni, friends, family, and well wishers left flowers and mementos.  They still continue to do this, but not nearly as much as in the months and few years that immediately followed 9/11/2001.

At SKW the attorneys are more tuned into the significance of the death anniversary or the birthday of the deceased. This is in large part because of the many wrongful death clients that the firm represents. So when an anniversary arrives of the tragic loss of a family member, these busy attorneys stop, pause and feel for their clients who continue to mourn their loss.

This morning, Karen was the first person who saw me when I entered the office. She looked at me with tears in her eyes. “I’m thinking of you and your family today.” Warmth enveloped me as I imagined her laying a fragrant bouquet of flowers at Larry’s memorial tree. Thank you Karen and thank you to all of my friends (you know who you are) who took a moment to send me a message of remembrance.  As hackneyed as the phrase has grown, we will never forget.

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