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Sep 11 2004

Remembering Mari-Rae

Mari-Rae was a classmate of mine in 5th through 12th grades. I recently got around to scanning in some photos of her I had from 6th grade. The memories are sharper than the photos. She would have been 38 years old, this the third anniversary of her death.

073marirae.jpg

From www.mari-rae.net:

Having boarded American Airlines Flight 77 at Washington Dulles International Airport early in the morning of September 11, 2001, Mari-Rae Sopper had no idea that she and thousands of other innocents would become part of a national tragedy. Ironically, Mari-Rae had served at the Pentagon during her tenure in the Navy JAG Corps.

From Wall of Americans:

Mari-Rae Sopper, the women's gymnastics coach at UC Santa Barbara, was aboard one of the flights downed by terrorists. She was traveling on the American Airlines flight from Washington that crashed into the Pentagon, according to a list released by the airline. Sopper was hired as coach less than two weeks ago. She had been an assistant coach and choreographer for the U.S. Naval Academy's women's gymnastics team before taking the job at UCSB. She also served as a graduate assistant at the University of Denver for one year, as the floor exercise coach and choreographer for the Colorado Gymnastics Institute for three years, and as a junior Olympic gymnastics coach in Dallas for three more years. In high school, Sopper was honored as the outstanding senior gymnast in Illinois in 1984. She graduated from Iowa State in 1988 and received a master's in athletic administration from North Texas in 1993. Three years later, she graduated from the University of Denver College of Law. "She was an incredible person who had done so much in her life," said Lesley Ross, a sophomore gymnast at UCSB. "She had an awesome attitude and was so in love with the sport. She was getting us all pumped up to come back." Simkins said the teammates she has spoken with still plan to compete this year. "I think we just have to keep going, take everything what's happened into our season, and try to come out of it even stronger," she said. "We can't go out like cowards."

Posted by Don |

5 Comments

  1. Very sad story. God bless her.

    (thank u for visiting my blog)

  2. I don't have words.

  3. #3
    Stentor said on September 12, 2004 | Reply

    Don,
    I make it a point to go to this page every September 11th. Go visit it, and let me know what you think. Keep a box of tissues handy, and it helps if you have a broadband connection. Here's the link:

    http://attacked911.tripod.com/

  4. That is so sad, but she must have been an incredible woman

  5. Stentor: Yep, I�ve watched that a few times since it was created. It's incredible and probably the definitive link for 9/11 anniversaries. Everyone should watch it.

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9/11: Three Years Later from Blogs of War

Blogs of War exists because of 9/11. Each post is a remembrance.I will update this post throughout the day. Read More