Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Life of Honor

It is not Length of Life,
But Depth of Life.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson died on April 30, 1882.   He had been gone from this Earth slightly less than a century by the time the wonderfully-named Honor Elizabeth Wainio had arrived on the scene in early October, 1973.  Yet Emerson's words applied with such force and effect to young Ms. Wainio that one might be forgiven for thinking that she had served as his muse. 

On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, Honor Elizabeth Wainio left her home in Watchung, New Jersey and drove to Newark Airport.  Just twenty-seven, she was a District Manager for Discovery Channel Stores and had to fly from Newark Airport that morning to a company-wide meeting in San Franscisco, California.   The flight she boarded to take her from coast-to-coast, tragically, was United Airlines Flight 93.  

Ms. Wainio was one of the passengers on Flight 93 who had the opportunity to telephone a loved one and speak to them.  She called her parents' home in Maryland and talked to her stepmother, Esther Heymann, who remarked afterwards that what struck her most of all about this final conversation was that Ms. Wainio's concern was not for herself - but for her family - and all that they were going to have to deal with in the aftermath of her death.  She was survived not only by her stepmother, Esther, but also by her father, Ben Wainio, her mother, Mary White, her stepfather, Jay White, her brother, Wainio and her sister, Sarah Wainio.  

In honor of the life she lived and the person she was, Ms. Wainio's colleagues at Discovery Communications, Inc., created the Honor Elizabeth Wainio Memorial Communications Scholarship at Ms. Wainio's Alma mater, Towson University.  She was a member of the Towson University Class of '95, a Communications major.  Recipients of the scholarship are determined by GPA and by the applicant's essay on the topic, "The Responsibility of the Media in Today's World".   This year's Annual Fundraiser shall be held on Saturday, October 25, 2014, from 2-6 PM, at Ropewalk, A Federal Hill Tavern, which is located at 1209 S. Charles Street in Baltimore.  If you shall be in the area that afternoon, you might want to check it out.  

I cannot help but feel that if you do so, you shall be happy that you did. 


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