Five University Park residents were killed on Sept. 11, 2001. Sheila Hein, 51, was working as an intern at the Pentagon when American Airlines Flight 77, overtaken by hijackers, crashed into the Department of Defense headquarters.
On the plan were four additional University Park residents – a family:
- Charles S. Falkenberg, 45, University Park
- Leslie Whittington, 45, University Park
- Dana Falkenberg, 3, University Park
- Zoe Falkenberg, 9, University Park
The four were on their way to Australia with mom – Leslie Whittington, a professor at University of Maryland and Georgetown University who was beginning sabbatical.
In 2005, resident Tom Ascraft designed a reflection pond and a plaque, dedicating the memorial garden to the local residents killed on Sept. 11. The memorial was especially fitting, as Hein was an avid gardener.
“We loved living in University Park,” Hein’s partner, Peggy Neff, wrote in a letter to a friend of Hein’s. The letter was read aloud at the 10th annual gathering at the memorial.
“We cherished all the memories we made here,” the letter said.
Ten years after the attacks, friends of the family talked about the loss and how it continued to affect them.
"You think about how they might have been," Judy Feder, one of Whittington’s colleagues, said of Zoe and Dana. "They didn't get to go on."