The toll of the dead and missing in the Sept. 11 terror attacks lurched horribly upward Thursday, rising to more than 6,700.
In that number, see the face of Colleen Fraser, the face of William Fallon, the face of Wendy Faulkner.
For more than a year, one of Wendy Faulkner's closest friends tried to get her to come work for her. But Faulkner resisted. She didn't want to uproot a happy life in Ohio with her husband and two girls.
Yet nine months ago, her friend had an offer Faulkner couldn't refuse. She took a job as a vice president in information systems for Aon Risk Services in Chicago.
Since December, Faulkner had been commuting from her Mason, Ohio, home to Chicago, flying home for long weekends. That was about to end, as her family was negotiating on a house in Naperville and planned to be together soon.
All of that changed when Faulkner, 47, came to New York for a business meeting on the 104th floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center Sept. 11. Her husband, Lynn Faulkner, hasn't heard from her since.
Years ago, Wendy Faulkner started collecting names from her missionary parents of families in poverty-stricken countries. She would then fill up boxes of clothing and goods and send them off to those families.
After learning of Wendy's death, one of the families who had received her boxes for years sent Faulkner's husband an e-mail, saying that the children would miss "Auntie Wendy's" boxes.
The message nudged a grieving Lynn Faulkner into action. "We just cannot let the final chapter of Wendy Faulkner's life be the fact that she was murdered," he said.
For that reason, Lynn Faulkner is establishing the Wendy Faulkner Memorial Children's Foundation.
Born with a form of dwarfism, Colleen Fraser stood less than 4 feet tall. She walked with a cane, which she would shake wildly to make a point. Often that point was making the world friendlier to people with disabilities. Fraser clearly had a flair for it.
"She was a firebrand," said longtime friend Ethan Ellis, executive director of the New Jersey Developmental Disabilities Council.
Fraser, 51, of Elizabeth, N.J., was vice chair of the council and served in other organizations for the disabled.
She was aboard United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania.
In 1989, when she heard that New Jersey's U.S. senators were undecided about supporting the Americans with Disabilities Act, she loaded about a dozen disabled individuals aboard a bus and rode to both senators' offices to get their support.
Fraser fashioned her flaming red hair into spikes like a punk rocker and wore numerous earrings. She wore open-toed sandals with orthopedic lifts. She liked gothic novels and horror movies. She was a wood carver and loved to bake.
She was also a passionate and tireless advocate. In fact, Fraser was flying to a grant-writing seminar when she died.
"I think there's a certain delicious irony that a small person like Colleen has given a small state such a big voice," Ellis said.
Rob Lenoir's future wife had been told to stay away from the football players when she went to Duke University. She didn't listen.
Lenoir, a hulking, 6-foot-4 defensive tackle, met his bride-to-be at a frat party. They dated through college, and when he graduated in 1984, he moved to New York to marry her.
The 38-year-old investment banker for Sandler O'Neill & Partners, in the World Trade Center, wasn't afraid to try anything new--and he wasn't afraid to look amateurish as long as he was having fun. He relished golf though he rarely cracked 100. He loved to go to the beach with his two children and wrestle the Atlantic surf on a boogie board. Six years ago, he took up hockey.
"I don't think he had ever been on skates," said his wife, Susan Lenoir.
As a managing director for Marsh Inc., an insurance brokerage unit of Marsh and McLennan Cos., Chicagoan Sue Sauer "was quite passionate about what she did," , colleague Christopher Long recalled.
But, Sauer, 48, a native of Wheaton, had other passions. She loved to travel and hike. In her Chicago office are photographs of her against backdrops of mountains.
She golfed. She did needlepoint, and a few months ago, she attended the Culinary Institute in Napa Valley. She hung out with her five nephews.
Sauer graduated from Wheaton Central High School and Illinois State University. She had worked at Marsh since 1992.
Sauer, who was in Manhattan for a meeting, is among about 300 employees of Marsh and McLennan who are missing after the Sept. 11 attack at the World Trade Center.
"She always had a smile on her face and always maintained a positive attitude," Long said.
Brady Kay Howell
Like a kid with a new toy, Brady Kay Howell, a 26-year-old Idaho native, had a dream job as a management intern for the chief of naval intelligence. Navy officials earlier this week identified the body of Howell, who was working at the Pentagon at the time of the attack.
"He loved every minute of his work there," said his wife, Liz. "He would come home at night and say, `I got to work on the most amazing things today.' Then he would tease me by saying, `But I can't tell you about any of it. It's classified.'"
Before working for the Navy, Howell received a master's degree in public administration from Syracuse University. He was a political science major from Utah State University. And he was an active Mormon, having served as a missionary and later as a primary teacher.
Howell was passionate about enjoying life, said Tim Stewart, a family friend. "He loved to work with children. He liked movies like `Star Wars' and he had a Nintendo 64. He was a kid at heart."
Ian J. Gray
Scottish-born Ian J. Gray, 55, who was instrumental in the creation of McBee Associates, a national health-care finance and management consulting firm based in Columbia, Md., was also an invaluable mentor, work associates said.
"One of the special things about Ian is that he was extremely good at coaching," said Larry Sparacino, of McBee Associates. "He developed the careers of a number of our professionals."
Gray was aboard the plane that crashed into the Pentagon.
Gray emigrated from Scotland to the U.S. in 1968. He helped start McBee in the late 1970s. He and his wife, Ana Raley, the chief executive of Greater Southeast Community Hospital, lived in Columbia, Md.
William F. Fallon
William F. Fallon, 53, had already endured the World Trade Center bombing in 1993. Through the smoke and the fear, he walked down 60 flights of stairs, stopping along the way to help carry out a woman.
When the World Trade Center was hit again, Fallon was just as calm as he stood in his office of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, on the 62nd floor of the North Tower.
He called his wife, Brenda, moments after the first plane struck to tell her he was fine. After the second building was hit, he called his wife again.
"He was calm when he spoke to her," said Fallon's sister, Pat Quinlan. "He felt that he needed to stay and assist others out of the building."
Saturday night, the family learned his remains had been recovered. "It was better than the constant waiting," Quinlan said.
Fallon was a general manager at the Port Authority, responsible for overseas trade development and marketing. He loved to hike in national parks with his wife and 18-year-old son, Chris.
"His life was based on principles," said his brother, Don. "He kept all these in balance, and always had a sense of what he wanted to do. And he was true to them all."
Karen Hawley Juday
It took incredible courage for Karen Hawley Juday, 52, to pack up and leave after a lifetime in Elkhart, Ind., said companion Richard Pecorella.
But move she did, to Brooklyn and an administrative assistant post at Cantor Fitzgerald four years ago. The reason was Pecorella, whom Juday had met at an auto race in Nazareth, Pa., where her brother was working in a pit crew.
Both Juday and Pecorella were going through divorces at the time, and their friendship blossomed into romance, which in turn led Juday to leave her job building amplifiers at an Elkhart assembly plant for the fast-paced culture of Wall Street. She had two grown children and five grandchildren.
"She loved New York," said Pecorella."She loved going to the Trade Center to work," Pecorella said.
Last week, he said he could watch the devastation in her building from his office in Brooklyn.
Tribune staff reporters Meg McSherry Breslin, John Chase, Mickey Ciokajlo, Julie Deardorff, Sean Hamill, Ted Gregory, James Janega, Shia Kapos, Lynette Kalsnes and John Keilman contributed to this report.Copyright © 2015, CT Now