Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Douglas D. Ketcham

I had originally done this post several years ago, I've updated the date to bring it to the forefront.

It's been 5 years but it seems like it just happened. I didn't know anyone that was injured let alone perished but it still affected me deeply.

I remember leaving work to go get my 13" tv to bring back so we could have up to date information since the radio station we were listening to wasn't doing so and the internet was basically locked up. On my way home the south tower fell, I had to pull over, the tears were coming too hard and fast.

I remember finally making it home and my boyfriend was on the couch watching tv but not a channel that had the coverage. He didn't know anything had happened.

I remember explaining to him why I was home, what was going on, as I switched the channel to Peter Jennings.

I remember my legs giving out as the second tower, the North tower, fell. It was worse than the other because this time I saw it happen.

I remember finally being able to get back up to grab the tv and head back to work so the others could see. In hindsight I should have just stayed home with my boyfriend, cradled in his comforting arms but I didn't. I went back to work and my coworkers were very glad that I finally made it back, they were going nuts not knowing what was happening. I can't believe our boss never told us to go home, especially since all we did all day long was sit around my little tv not doing any work.

I remember feeling very deeply for the people who had died in those towers, flight 93, and the Pentagon. I remember feeling very deeply for the families and friends left behind.

I remember every time I see a tv show or a movie that has an image of the towers.

After researching Douglas and learning the few items I have about him I have a small sense of what he was like. Because of this it will help me to remember him by.

I will remember Douglas D. Ketcham.

Douglas was a stockbroker for Cantor Fitzgerald. He was working in the north tower that morning. After the jet hit he called his parents, letting them know he was trying to make his way out.

Thank you to Newsday for the following article. It gives us some of the limited information I could find on Douglas to give us a sense of who he was.

Virginia Native Gave of Himself

Dec. 18, 2001

On the last day of his life, Douglas Ketcham called his parents to let them know he was trying to get out of the north tower of the World Trade Center, where he worked as a stockbroker for Cantor Fitzgerald.

"He called his mother just after [the jet struck the tower] and said there had been a terrible explosion, and to tell them that he loved them," friend John Riley told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "He called from underneath his desk."

That was the last Dennis and Raenell Ketcham heard from their son. None of the Cantor Fitzgerald workers trapped in the upper floors of the tower made it out alive. The north tower was the first hit by a hijacked jetliner.

Ketcham, 27, had worked for Cantor Fitzgerald since his graduation from the University of Virginia in 1996. He grew up in Midlothian, Va., near Richmond, and graduated from Midlothian High School.

"He loved New York," Riley said. "He was very sharp, very bright. He loved to be around people."

Riley told the Times-Dispatch that Ketcham returned to Richmond often to visit his many friends, who in turn came up to see him in New York. Riley said he sent an e-mail about Douglas’ fate to 50 people he counted as friends.

Ketcham’s parents and younger sister Denyse, 21, moved to South Dakota more than two years ago. Denyse remained there to attend the University of South Dakota when her parents retired to Florida earlier this year.

Though they were spread across the continent, the Ketchams chose to return to the Richmond area to hold a memorial service for Douglas. Denyse said the turnout gave her a strong sense of comfort.

"He was undoubtedly the most selfless person I have ever met,” she told The Associated Press. “When we had the memorial service for him, he was eulogized by five people. That was definitely a recurring theme. He was so giving of his time, his energy, personal belongings. Anything."

Family and friends described Ketcham as a giving person with a strong faith in God.
“He was a strong Christian, and he did a lot for underprivileged youth and Christian organizations,” Denyse said. “That’s been one thing that’s really helped us so much through this.”

-- Shannon Shelton (Orlando Sentinel)

He sounds like a wonderful man, someone I would have loved to know and be friends with. Someone you could count on in a crisis such as this. It sounds like he touched many peoples lives and will have a large number of people who will always remember him.

There's another out there that remembers Douglas, it is his friend The Tin Man. Please go there and read what he has to say.

Through researching, trying to find a good photo I found this tribute from his mother.

Please, won't you join me and the others across the globe in remembering Douglas D. Ketcham and the so many additional people who lost their lives that fateful September day. Please go to this site to find the rest of the tributes.


Anonymous said...

I came upon your site and this wonderful tribute. It is very moving, and I have tears in my eyes. Thank you for posting this on your blog.

Anonymous said...

Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
I've been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

Thumbs up, and keep it going!

Christian, iwspo.net

Quotidian Cville said...

Thank you for remembering our friend Doug. I knew Doug from Richmond and UVA; I'm one of his friends mentioned in the article. His friends gather this weekend, every year, to remember him...to tell stories...to laugh...to grieve. There will be at least 10 of us this weekend.
We're now at a point in our lives where we share stories of Doug with our children...children born after he died.
Thank you for this. It means more than we can let you know. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for helping the world remember Doug. Those of us who knew him will never forget. What an amazing man.

Anonymous said...

I have read this several times over the last few years, and can tell you that Doug was a great friend - to many people. He was true, he was loyal. Thank you for what you've written.

A Perfect Setting said...

Thank you for your moving tribute of Doug. He was a bright young man and I had the pleasure of teaching him in high school. His death and that of countless others was a tragic, horrific loss for families and country. Thanks for keeping the memory of Doug alive.

Amy said...

I had the fortune of growing up with Doug and knowing just how selfless he was even as a young child. He is sorely missed even as we mark the tenth anniversary of his death. He is what every person should strive to be.

Evelyn said...

I was his girlfriend when he died and he was the first man I ever loved. It's impossible to say what he was like in just a few words, but he had a tremendous heart, a wry smile and an incredible sense of humor. Through the many posts here, I'm so happy to know that he is remembered by so many others each year and that his memory lives on. Thank you for your tribute to Doug. He was one of a kind.

Anonymous said...

With another anniversary approaching I decided to google Doug Ketchum and am glad to have found this. I remember him from karate classes as a kid and from high school. He was a year ahead of me. I always think of him this time of year and am still greatly saddened by the events of that day. My thoughts and prayers are with Doug's family and friends.

Anonymous said...

I live in Dallas now and went to the new Bush Library earlier this year. I specifically wanted to see the 911 tribute. I found Doug's name on the wall and am glad to see him honored and remembered. Thoughts and prayers are with Doug's family and friends.

Chloe Ketcham said...

Hi, this really got to me. My name is chloe, chloe Ketcham. I was born the day before 9/11 and then just 12 hours later I lost my cousin. Douglas was my cousin and I never got to meet him to I love seeing the great things everyone says about him