Friday, September 08, 2006

September 11, 2001 Personal Tribute


2,996 What does that number mean to you? To me, it represents loss, unbearable, unnecessary, irreplaceable loss. It represents sadness & disbelief, tears & anguish. It represents 2,996 lives that were needlessly taken, 2,996 people who’s loved ones must wonder daily if they were the last person to cross his or her mind. Who wonder, did they suffer, or worse, who know that they did. Who look for them automatically when they want to share a joke, or tell a story, or need comfort after a bad day. Who mourn all over again when they realize that their loved one is gone. They can’t see or touch them. Can’t hold them or brush a kiss along their forehead. Who can no longer talk with them about the important things, or the not-so-important things.

Husbands, wives, children, mothers, fathers, grand-parents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins. They were all represented there that day. I want to tell you a little about one of the people who is counted among the 2,996. A daughter, a sister, an aunt, a godmother, a friend & a coach. A woman who is survived by her parents, two sisters, five brothers, eleven nieces & seven nephews. Her name was Julie Geis. She was 44 years old. Julie was a warm, kind and giving person, a loving daughter, a devoted aunt, a wonderful sister and a friend to many. Her inner light burned so brightly that its warmth could be felt by anyone she came in contact with. Julie's spirit will never be extinguished as long as her memory is held in the hearts of her family and friends.

(This picture is from one of those friends. The bracelet on the bear is holding has Julie's name & the letters WTC. )

Julie received her Bachelor of Science degree in 1979 from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, where she attended college on a full athletic scholarship. She was a four year letterwinner at shortstop for the Huskers Softball team and had her jersey (#15) retired on October 12, 2001. (Julie had a lifelong love for the Nebraska Huskers and was an avid Chiefs fan as well. She enjoyed tailgating at Arrowhead Stadium with friends before each home game.) Her undergraduate degree was in Special Education with a Coaching endorsement. In 1982, she received her Master of Arts degree in Educational Psychology and Measurements from the University of Nebraska and continued on there to receive her Ph.D. in Educational-Administration, Curriculum and Instruction in 1989. During this time, Julie was a Special Education teacher in the Crete, NE Public School system and at Culler Junior High in Lincoln, NE. She also worked in the Barkley Center at the University of Nebraska, where she developed a program for students with learning disabilities. Julie moved to the Kansas City area in 1990 where she went to work for the Postal Service in a Management Training Program. In 1994, she moved to Lee's Summit and began working for Crawford & Co. as a Job Placement Counselor. She went to work for Alexander and Alexander in 1995 and continued working there after their merger with Aon Corporation, an insurance brokerage firm. She worked for Aon for almost seven years where she was a Senior Vice President and Director of New Business Development for AonLine. She was in New York City in the south tower on the 102nd floor for a monthly meeting on the day of the attacks Julie had global responsibilities in her position and in the last year had traveled to London, Paris, Mexico City and Brazil. "Aon was getting established all over the world," her Mother, Mrs. Geis said. "She loved the challenge. She loved the people."

Julie loved playing golf with family and friends and found gardening and yard-work relaxing and peaceful when she could find the time. She loved animals and had two dogs at home, Cagney (a Terrier) and Lacy (a Shih Tzu). Julie was a loving person and cared deeply for her family and friends. She always made it home to Nebraska for every Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday. Julie also had a strong sense of community and was involved in many activities and organizations. She delivered food baskets to needy families and was a member of the Women's Foundation. She was a founding member of Women With One Voice, a non-profit agency which funds programs that serve the health and educational needs of women and children in the Kansas City area, and had served as its president for the past two years. Julie had a passion for helping others and was a strong leader in everything she did.
Julie's remains were not found during the rescue & clean up of the Trade Center towers. Her sister actually traveled to New York to look through the catalog of jewelry & other personal effects that once belonged to the victims. What a brave woman, to face such a horrific task. Bless you.

If you do a search for Julie’s name you have to go forward several pages before you can find anything about her that isn’t associated with 9-11. I think it’s so sad that this successful woman has had her life reduced to one day. To one event. An event not of her making or her choosing. A day that will live on in the hearts of everyone in America. A day that changed everyone.

There were many crosses found in the rubble of the buildings. Perhaps a reminder that no matter what people do to us, God is always there. Always present in the rubble of our lives.

To the firefighters & police, & EMS workers, to the citizens who helped others & put themselves at risk, thank you so much. May this country never forget your selfless acts, your bravery, your sacrifices.

God bless us all.

To Julie's family, I am truly, truly sorry for your loss. I din't know anyone who was taken that day, so I was glad to know Julie's name & face. Now when I pray, I can picture her, I can think of your family. Thank you for sharing things about her & letting me get to know her. You are in my thoughts & prayers. God bless you.
Heather Smith

*** Please CLICK HERE to read all the tributes!
****An endowment fund was established by Women With One Voice in Julie's honor, "Julie's Fund." There was also a softball scholarship established by the University of Nebraska in memory of Julie. Donations can be made to "Julie's Fund" through Women With One Voice, PO Box 22523, Kansas City, MO 64113-0253. Donations to the University of Nebraska scholarship fund can be made by contacting the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.
**** Most of this information was taken from Julie's obituary. Some other sites are...

Article about her sister's trip.

**Post will be at the top of Oreo's blog until at least September 12. Please scroll down for current posts & PLEASE, leave a comment for Julie or her family, but you better be nice or Oreo will put the bite on you!! :)


The Meezers or Billy said...

What a wonderful tribute. These tributes are so hard to write. I find myself sobbing in tears as I try and write the 2,996 Tribute I will post on Monday.
To Julie's family, I know the pain of your loss will never go away. Julie sounds like an amazing woman. - Meezers Mom Mary

jeni said...

an absolute MOVING tribute. thank you so much....for everything you & the other 2,996er's have done.

~Jeni & Dale

Anonymous said...

Heather and Oreo...that was beautifully written tribute to Julie. Living in NY and working in NYC, I think about 9/11 everyday. To think this happened five years ago already, blows my mind. I hope noone ever forgets about the attacks or the 2,996 people who lost their lives. I'm really glad that you shared a little something about Julie today. I think that is a wonder way to honor September 11th.

God Bless...

Meowmepurr's Mumma said...

Heather and Oreo--That was beautiful, thank you. Having grown up in the NY Metro area and having lived in Northern Virginia for 10 years, the attacks of 9/11 were very personal for me. Your tribute to Julie is heartfelt and very moving; I hope her family sees it.

As a blogger without a blog of my own(or my cats'own) I truly appreciate what all of the 2,996 bloggers are doing to remember this awful anniversary. Bless you all


Miss Chris said...

You have posted a wonderful tribute. I got mine up today and hope it is as touching as yours.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

SWEETIE HERE: Oh My Dear Oreo...your Momma did really really good...Beautiful treibute to a very special woman...Please tell your Momma that my Momma says "Thank You for this hearetfelt touching tribute."
And she says to Julie's Family: "I am so very very sorry for your loss. May peace and love be with you every day."

Anonymous said...

our Lady's eyes leaked so ya did a great job with a lovely tribute to a lady who was obviously a wonderful person


MomHeather and Oreo

What a stunning remembrance for an amazing woman. Her family would be very touched by your special essay. You really captured her spirit. Thank you for sharing such a brillantly written memorial.

Tibbs said...


Like to invite you for a visit to the "OH HOW SOON WE FORGET" Website at

It is a support website for the Leaders of the Free World and our Military. It has a lot of interesting information on it plus a Forum where you can also have your say concerning matters on this.

Thanking you for your time, hoping that you will come for a visit, and would be honoured if you would have time to sign the Guestbook in support.

Would also be great if you could forward this onto another contact of yours to help support us.

Yours Sincerely,


Auntie Lyn said...

I feel as if I know Julie, and that's what this tribute is all about. Thank you Heather for this loving tribute to Julie Geis. Julie's bubbly personality is obvious in her pictures, she looks as if she was someone I could have called friend. I will remember Julie's family and friends in my thoughts and prayers.
Rest well dear Julie,
Auntie Lyn

Anonymous said...


You must be a wonderful person. You did a fantastic job in tribute to my little sister. Thank you from my entire family. Mom called last night as a lady in Seward had seen your tribute. She wanted to make sure mom was aware, and since Mom did not have internet she called and told us. I will be spending the day with mom Monday, so I will take my laptop so she can read your work.
Julie was wonderful. One of the amazing things is how she continues to touch lives even after her death. Her laughter and smile effected everyone she met - and many that she never met - the world is a better place because of her.
Thank you and God bless you for the wonderful tribute.

Carol (Geis) Varland

Hot(M)BC said...

Fantastic tribute Heather and Oreo! We give you the 5 tail and 2 thumbs up salute for such a wonderful tribute. Now we all get to know the person Julie was. Her memory lives on with us now, not as just a collection of letters called a name, or a number, but as a wonderful lady who touched so many lives in wonderful ways.
Mom Robyn, Sanjee, Boni, Mini, Pepi, Gree, and Grandma

Anonymous said...

Thank You Heather (and Oreo for hosting the tribute on your blog), for such a lovely tribute to a dear kind woman. We lost two members of our extended family that day...

I remember that day well. I worked only 10 miles from NYC and got so scared after numberous phone calls to my home, that I decided to cancel the rest of my classes and head home early. When I turned my eyes towards the eastern skyline and saw that enormous cloud of smoke, a chill ran through my body and when I think of that day and all the tragedy it held, I still get chills. But God was the midst of it all and I'm thankful for that.

Tracy said...

Lovely, just lovely...sniff...sniff,
I can't stop weeping today for all the beautiful memorials I've read and the one writing for mondays post....Bless you darlin'

Anonymous said...

Beautiful tribute to Julie..

Thank you for sharing her story with us..

My thoughts and prayers are with her family and all the other families as the 5th Anniversary of 9/11 approaches.

God bless you,

BrassyLady (2,996 blogger)

You may visit my tribute at:

Sue said...

An amazing tribute to an amazing human being. Thank you for giving her a voice today and letting us all get to know her a little bit. I find myself very teary today at the remembrance of all the wonderful people lost that day, and the true impact of that loss.

I am also a 2996 Blogger. If you have a chance, come by and read my tribute as well.

Anonymous said...

Heather, you did a very loving tribute to Julie. Thank you.
To Julie's family, I think about Julie and you alot. I continue to keep you in my prayers. I visited NYC just a few weeks ago and wore the bracelet with Julies name on it. It is hard to describe the emotions I felt that day. Julie continues to touch peoples lives everyday. She is missed by many. God bless you.
Kathy Hartmann
Seward, NE

keda said...

what a wonderful woman, such a loss.
thank you for sharing this lovely tribute with us.
by thoughts are with her family and friends.
and she does continue to touch people, and will be remembered.

Oscar the Puppy Cat said...

Your blog has such a wonderful tribute. I showed my husband when we sat down together to write mine and he said "Wow, it's long." I told him to hush. Then as we got into ours, he said "How can it not be long, your telling the story of someones life. There is so much to write, so much to tell, you could go on for pages!" Our tributes our important because they tell the story of a wonderful person that could very easily become just a number. With your tribute, you have brought this wonderful woman to life and showed that she did indeed, live!

Memories of Eric and Flynn said...

A wonderful touching tribute. Thank you for letting me understand Julie's life.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely tribute to Julie. She really seems like somone who brought so much good into the world, it's such a tragedy we have all lost her. You have honored her life and touched the lives of many others with your post.

I remember Lt. Charles William Garbarini.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for such a lovely tribute. Julie sounds like an amazing person. We must not forget that those who died weren't just numbers, they were people who loved and were loved. Who laughed and cried and gave...and lived.
We must all remember to make the most of our lives, to give to others, to love and respect our families and never let the evil and hatred of some, keep us from living the kind of lives we should.
We must never forget them. We must fly our flags. We must live for them.
Amy and Hendrix the puddin' in Cincinnati, OH

The Meezers or Billy said...

Hey Oreo- you ok buddy?

Just Me said...

A beautiful tribute to an amazing lady.

I remember Sheila Hein

gordaboo said...

Thank you for your beautiful tribute for Julie. She is no longer just a victim's name to whoever reads this.

We will never forget.

I remember Lisa Egan

Eponine's Cowboy said...

Julie is from my area and I never even knew it. Thank you so much for posting this and helping to make me aware of one of my neighbors. I hope we are reminded that all of us somehow are neighbors.

Thanks, Oreo and to your humans too.

Unknown said...

Love to all of the families that have lost someone (no matter the how or why). Stay strong and remember that the people that rae left behind will ALWAYS remember and care.
You did a wonderful job big sister. It is nice to see you show the soft and sweet side that you hide so well! Peace and love to all!
Amber, Jamesie, Scooby, and Mom

Anonymous said...

What a very beautiful tribute.