Probably September 11, 2001 started out as just another day for Peter. He was a 35 year old computer linguist, and was working as a consultant with the Marsh and McLennan Companies, on the 96th floor of the World Trade Center. I'm sure that, just like most husbands, he kissed his wife, Lorena, goodbye that morning, with never a thought that he wouldn't be back that night. But he wasn't.
When you start reading about Peter, you come to realize how smart he was. He graduated from Clarkson University with two bachelor's degrees: one in Electrical Engineering and one in Physics. Wow! And he did it in 3 1/2 years! Most people can't get an engineering degree in less than 5 years.
Clarkson University lost 4 alumni on September 11, 2001. The university built a 9-11 memorial to its lost graduates. It was dedicated in 2005, and you can go here and see the pictures of it. It makes us glad to know that this fine young man will be forever remembered by his alma mater.
And he wasn't just a computer consultant. He was an innovator as well. He had developed a programming language that would "enable the average Joe to write programs," according to his mother, Ruth Klein. In January of 2001, he was granted a patent from the US Patent Office for a "Method and System for compiling source code containing natural language instructions." That's no small potatoes, folks.
But Peter Klein was NOT just a stereotypical computer geek. He was a man in love. All through the tribute comments and guestbook signings we read, one thread is highlighted again and again. And that was how very much he loved his wife, the former Maria Lorena Briones. They met via the internet, but when he flew to meet her in person, true love blossomed. His mom said that Lorena was "truly his soul mate," and when a mama tells you that, you can take it to the bank. Peter and Lorena were married in Monterrey, Mexico on August 12, 2000. They had just celebrated their first anniversary.
Peter was also a man up for adventure, competition and fun. He was taking flying lessons, working toward his pilot's license, and had made his first solo flight the summer before his death. He had also played volleyball for years as a member of the New York Urban Professional Athletic League. And when he was in high school, he was an avid canoeist, and competed in whitewater races. Not for him, just to sit behind a desk and work!
What else was Peter? Well, he had been an altar boy at St. Stanislaus in Pleasant Valley for many years. He played in the marching band at Arlington High School. He volunteered to teach computer classes at the library during his high school summers.
But more important than all those things, he was a husband to Lorena. He was a son to Hans and Ruth. He was a big brother to Lisa, Anne, and Diana. He was a man.
Father of all, we pray to you for those we love, but see no longer: Grant them your peace; let light perpetual shine upon them; and, in your loving wisdom and almighty power, work in them the good purpose of your perfect will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty God, Father of mercies and giver of comfort: Deal graciously, we pray, with the Klein family, and all who mourn; that, casting all their care on you, they may know the consolation of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Besides Peter, there are 2,995 other victims of the 9/11 attacks remembered today at 2,995 other websites spread far and wide. You can find information on them by going to the 2996 website here.