Monday, September 11, 2006

In memory of Deepa K. Pakkala.

We will never forget September 11, 2001. On the fifth anniversary of that horrible day, I honor Deepa K. Pakkala.

From researching her name online, I have learned that she was a devoted wife to her husband, Sampath, and a loving mother to her infant daughter, Trish. A perfectionist, she was an Oracle consultant who worked long hours. Because of those long hours, she and her husband had hoped to start their own consulting firm from their New Jersey home. They wanted to be able to spend more time with their daughter, who was born on their ninth anniversary in January 2001. The day she died, Deepa arrived early for her job on the 99th floor of the World Trade Center's north tower. She was 31.

I never knew Mrs. Pakkala, but in the short time I've been reading the tributes written by her loved ones, I can tell she was a wonderful woman. Over and over again, I read about her smile, her compassion, her drive to make the world a better place.

For instance, you can read the beautiful eulogy here. For more comments, you can go to this site to see the memorial page sponsored by Marsh & McLennan Companies, where Deepa was working as a consultant. The New York Times' "Portraits of Grief" profile on Deepa is part of the tribute page found here. The guestbook there includes a tribute from her husband, too.

When I think about the 2,996 people who died in the attacks, I'm overwhelmed. It's hard to grasp such a big number. When I scroll through the unbearably long list of victims at the 2996 site, the names begin to blur. The pain represented by those names is enormous. It's too much for me to process--even five years later.

But today I can pause to feel the enormity of this loss. I can picture a man holding his baby girl, desperately missing his sweet wife. By reading online tributes, I can listen in as Deepa's friends recall her giving spirit. I can imagine the tears of those who loved her. And I can cry right along with them.

I pray that her loved ones have found comfort and peace, and I especially pray that Trish will feel her mother's love every day.

I will never forget September 11, 2001, and I pledge to always remember Deepa K. Pakkala.

(Edited to add: The original 2996 has had some server issues, so you can find the list of victims here.)


Shininggoober said...

Wonderful tribute! Donna

web_loafer said...


Very good tribute to honor Deepa K. Pakkala. This 2,996 project has been an emotional project. I know the tears that well up when I read about the victims of the senseless attacks of that day 5 yars ago, they are heartfelt on my part, but they could never compare to the grieve Deepa's loved ones are still tormented with.

Grieve does torment,
It should never terrorize.

We will see justice for Deepa and all of the other 2,995 who went to work on that fall day 5 years ago, and were murdered.

Good tribute, and I am proud to be a part of the 2,996 project.

I have a list of blogs now, that I know I can read, knowing the bloggers are caring people.

tamandscott said...

I have seen her picture lots of times before for some reason. It's so hard to sit back and feel like we're doing nothing for these families that are grieving, so this was a great idea, I think. Thanks for joining!

Angi said...

Katie's words made me shudder.

Deepa's tribute was beautiful.

It so pains me to think of her daughter growing up without her... and she must be Carmen's age.

So so sad.

But thanks for recruiting me for the 2996 project. It made me sit still and think and reflect and I needed to do that. So few things in life demand that.

Anonymous said...

Ms. See-dub,

I was a family friend of Mrs. Pakkala's, and seeing and reading this touched my heart. Thank you for your kind words. She was a beautiful and gentle soul.

Seeing this really makes this day hurt a little less, seeing that there are people who care and have so much good within them. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I worked with Deepa Pakkala when she used to work at IDT. She was in my department and had work with her for some time. I still remember her and was shocked when she lost her life on 9/11. Her husband had also worked at IDT and remember when he came to let us know of her fate. Totally a hard worker and quiet. She deserve to see her daughter grow and not have her life taken away like this! GOD BLESS YOU DEEPA! GOD BLESS YOUR DAUGHTER TRISH.

Steve R.