Thursday, September 10, 2009

In Memory of James Debeuneure for Project 2996

As a part of Project 2996, I remember James Debeuneure who died on American flight 77 that flew into the Pentagon.

James was 58 yrs old from Upper Marlboro, Md.

When James was 45 he decided that he wanted to be a teacher. He went back to college and received a masters in education and became a fifth grade teacher in a low income school district in southeast Washington. He was chaperoning a student on a field trip sponsored by National Geographic on that tragic flight.

How we need more people like that. People willing to take less money and go into the classroom to teach our children. Who would have ever imagined he would pay such a price for it?

I read that his mother in law said that he truly loved teaching. She said that he was a mentor and friend to the children he taught. His Principal at the school said that James came early and stayed late and sponsored the student safety patrol. She said he was a committed and dedicated teacher.

He left behind two sons, Jacques and DeForrest, and a daughter, Jalin.

I know what it's like to continue on when a father dies too soon. I know what it is like for them to not have their father see their own children grow up. To not have that father, that you loved so much and depended on, not be there when you need him. It's a pain that never leaves you. My heart goes out to them.

In researching James I found the following at a touching tribute to him:

The Lord awoke me at 4am on September 11th, 2001. I remember that the name "James" was given to me, and I knew my task was to pray and not go back to sleep until the time was right. I prayed for strength, encouragement, and wisdom. I prayed fervently that James would not feel fear. I prayed for many minutes, saying James' name over and over again and hoping he would be ok. The Lord put on my heart to pray for his strength and rebuke the fear he was dealing with. I prayed, and then fell back asleep. When my alarm awoke me later that morning, it was turned to a radio station that was announcing the towers and the terrorist attacks. It wasn't until later that I remembered James and prayed once again that he had been given that strength. If this is that James, he had God on his side.

*** Posted by Grace M. of Auburn CA on 2007-12-29 ***

I found a guest book for James here. The entries made me cry. We lost so much that day. So many good people. I pray that we never ever forget people like James, who made a difference in so many lives.

The following was posted on June 13th, 2009 from the family:

Hello everyone:

Again I'd like to thank everyone for their continued support to the debeuneure children and family. Although its almost been 10 years we are still mourning as if it was yesterday. I know that everyone has important people in their lives but he was truly our HERO, FATHER, ROLE MODEL, CONFIDANT etc...... everyday doesn't pass by without us acknowledging him in some way or another. We appreciate the pictures youve posted which help us to place faces with the names on the many entries and we just appreciate your dedication to supporting us know matter how near or far you may be.

Even though the years have passed, those who lost loved ones that day still feel the pain as if it were yesterday. We have been blessed as a nation to not have suffered another attack. For that I will be always be grateful. I hope that we never forget how much we lost that day.

God bless this family. And let us NEVER EVER FORGET!