Working on the life of Christopher Newton, I came to realize all over again the depth of America's loss on September 11. Here was just one honorable, faithful and beautiful life ended too soon and in the most horrific way. Knowing that an upstanding patriot, husband, father, son, brother and friend like Chris, who embodied everything good about the USA and humanity, was but one example of what was brutally taken away in the attacks on our country, truly saddens and angers me.
Read about his life and always remember him and everyone who perished on that terrible day.
By all accounts, Christopher Newton was a man of honor and integrity, who loved his family and made significant contributions to the world around him. Newton, who was 38 at the time of the September 11 attacks, was president and chief executive officer of Work-Life Benefits, a consultation and referral service.
His longing to spend more time with his wife of 15 years and their two children, ages 7 and 10, led him to relocate the family from California to Virginia, in an effort to cut down on the 200,000-plus miles he logged every year, mostly by air, from the west coast to the east coast.
Newton, a passenger on American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon, was on his way back to Orange County to retrieve his family's yellow Labrador, who'd been left behind until they could settle into their new home in Arlington, Virginia.
In the aftermath of the attacks, The LA Times printed this quote: "That's one of the horrible ironies of this whole thing," said a friend and co-worker, Denise Markley. "One reason he moved to the East Coast was so that he wouldn't have to travel so much."
The Times also provided a short bio of Newton, and some reflective thoughts from his mother:
Reared in Long Beach, where his parents live, Newton earned degrees from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and UCLA, and for a long time sang in his church choir. He is also survived by a sister and brother.
"The world lost a really good person," said his mother, Barbra Newton. "He was very excited about the future."
Never forget that the hopes for a bright future possessed by innocent people like Christopher Newton were destroyed by a vicious anti-western, anti-American enemy, with absolutely no regard for human life -- including their own.
As we pay tribute to the fallen, let us be ever vigilant in protecting ourselves and our fellow-citizens from future harm, recognizing that America truly is the world's best hope, as evidenced by the lives of extraordinary people like Christopher Newton.
May he, and all of the victims of September 11, rest in peace in the presence of God. And may God bless their families and the United States of America as we join together in remembrance.