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Nick, I Wish I Knew You

According to his mother, from the time he was a little boy, he had dreamed of working at the Pentagon. That is what Pick's mother, Mrs. Jewel Lyons of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, told me on the phone today. Pick was the nickname given to her son by his Aunt when he was just a little boy due to his small size and it seemed to stick with him to adulthood, at least with his family.

This is part of the "2,996: Honoring the 9/11 Victims" project where Bloggers from all over the country and possibly the world are writing tributes to the innocent victims of that awful day for the fifth anniversary. Where this is different than most tributes done in the past is that I am going to do my best to celebrate the life of Operations Specialist 2nd Class (OS2) Nehamon Lyons IV and not dwell on the way he was taken from us.

In doing my research, I kept finding tributes for him pertaining to his accomplishments and character as an adult. I wanted to find out what he was like as a child. How did he become the man that so many called friend, a good person, someone they would never forget?

I finally decided that the best way to get the information that I wanted was to contact his mother, Mrs. Lyons. She was a very gracious lady who didn't seem to mind at all answering questions about her son. The first word that she used to describe her son was "lovely". Imagine that. How many mothers are blessed enough to describe their sons as lovely?

She said when he was a boy that he liked to play and have fun but that he also had a serious side about him, particularly when it came to his education. He considered education very important and that was part of why he succeeded in fulfilling his life-long dream of working at the Pentagon. She said that he never gave her any trouble and that he worked really hard to achieve his goals.

Mrs. Lyons also described her son as being very funny and yet a bookworm at the same time. She said he went to "Sanctified Church" and read his Bible a lot.

I asked her if Pick had ever been married or had any children and she said no, he didn't believe in getting married or having children before he had an established carreer. She said that he focused on things of "quality".

Pick's first job was at Kentucky Fried Chicken. I found that rather interesting because that was also my own son's first job. She said that when he was younger that he played in his School Band and received a trophy for his efforts. I guess that trophy was just a prelude to the awards he would receive later in life. He went to Dollarway High School and graduated in 1989.

He grew up in a large family with 4 brothers (Rodney, Corey, Marquise and Christian) and 1 sister (Sonya). Pick was the second to the oldest. He was into body-building as a hobby. I wonder if that was in response to the nickname he had earned at such a young age?

Pick attended the University of South Alabama in Mobile and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on November 14th, 1996 . He was assigned to the USS Gettysburg from May of 1997 through November of 2000. He received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Joint Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, the Good Conduct Medal and 2 Navy "E" Ribbon. In addition, he posthumously was awarded the Purple Heart of Courage and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.

As an adult, he was called Nick by many of his friends. That too is something he has in common with my son. Not the same name but the fact that he is called one name by his family and another by his friends.

Speaking of his friends, they seem to agree on most points in regards to Nick's characteristics. He is described as a good person and a good OS, very friendly and shy, a special friend, a team player, a very happy and extremely nice person. Nick was a special kind of person, one of honor, courage, and committment.

He also had a great sense of humor as his friend David Olsen referenced at TERRORISTattack.com when reminiscing about serving on the Gettysberg with Nick and finding time to laugh at some of the things that happened around them.

Christopher Farrell over at SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 VICTIMS described him as having a funny laugh and a good sense of humor about everything.

His cousin Latrice Racy describes him as being kind of shy, a very giving person, very hard-working and dedicated.

Barbara A Pedraza called him "son" and said that he would always have a special place in her heart. It seems she filled sort of a mentor role for him and he would go to her for advice. They would talk for hours about his life and his career choices. He even went to visit her when he was on leave.

He was also an inspiration to many, including some whom he didn't even know. Lora D. Eury said to Nick "You have shown me so much. There is more to life than a single moment in time". And yet, "So much can happen in a single moment and you have tought me how to live each one of them."

"Bruh, you were the sunshine that lighted our days sometimes. That smile, that laugh." Soup Willliam Chastang, October 18, 2005 .

Nick was a joy to be around, always giving himself to others, truly interested in the people around him. It was nothing for him to go the extra mile. He was a "self-starter who worked tirelessly to achieve his goals."

In the words of his mother, "He was happy all the time," she said. "When you saw him, he was laughing. He could make the saddest moment a happy one."

Nick sounds like the kind of person I would have been honored to know. Part of me feels like I do just a little by what I have learned about him. He is the kind of man that I believe has the character, integrity and honor to make a "real" American Hero.

http://i33.photobuck...g/93682port.jpg
God Bless You Operations Specialist 2nd Class Nehamon Lyons IV & thank you for your service. :unsure:

Elusively yours,
ilja
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15 Comments On This Entry

Ilja, that was beautiful! You've got me wishing I'd known Nick. I admire the care you took with this project.
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Mooga, on Sep 11 2006, 11:46 AM, said:

Ilja, that was beautiful! You've got me wishing I'd known Nick. I admire the care you took with this project.

Thank you Mooga. It was quite thrilling talking to his mother but also eye-opening on how hard it is to understand what someone is saying on the telephone during an interview. I suddenly have more respect for reporters who forget to ask the most obvious questions.
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I haven't even gotten halfway through and I'm already crying.

I have to finish it later, but I can already tell that it's a great post.

So great that you took the time to call her. I'm sure she appreciated that.

:shrug:

:ph34r:
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Sitting here at work, during lunch, and reading these memorials is just tearing my heart apart. Ilja, even in death, there is life...and I think you personally found that Nick still exists in a whole lot of people and in a whole lot of ways.

Very nice memorial to Nick, Ilja.
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Lori, on Sep 11 2006, 12:34 PM, said:

I haven't even gotten halfway through and I'm already crying.

I have to finish it later, but I can already tell that it's a great post.

So great that you took the time to call her. I'm sure she appreciated that.

:shrug:

:ph34r:

Ahhhhh thank you Lori for saying that. :blush: I know my limitations and I'm glad that I was able to communicate a little of what I found when learning about the life of such a good man.
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That was beautiful, ilja. I wish I knew him too. I'm sure his mother was so touched you took the time to call her to talk about her son and write such a wonderful memorial.
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Vulcan, on Sep 11 2006, 12:45 PM, said:

Sitting here at work, during lunch, and reading these memorials is just tearing my heart apart. Ilja, even in death, there is life...and I think you personally found that Nick still exists in a whole lot of people and in a whole lot of ways.

Very nice memorial to Nick, Ilja.

I believe it takes a special person to raise a man the caliber of OS2 Lyons. I have a feeling you have done just as well. :ph34r:

Please tell your son thanks from me for his service.
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Annie, on Sep 11 2006, 12:48 PM, said:

That was beautiful, ilja. I wish I knew him too. I'm sure his mother was so touched you took the time to call her to talk about her son and write such a wonderful memorial.

Thank you Annie. I felt honored that she allowed me the opportunity to speak to her. :ph34r:

I have more people to thank than I can mention for helping me to get in touch with her. It's amazing what September 11th brings out in people in situations where you would expect them to act differently.
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ilja, on Sep 11 2006, 12:49 PM, said:

Vulcan, on Sep 11 2006, 12:45 PM, said:

Sitting here at work, during lunch, and reading these memorials is just tearing my heart apart. Ilja, even in death, there is life...and I think you personally found that Nick still exists in a whole lot of people and in a whole lot of ways.

Very nice memorial to Nick, Ilja.

I believe it takes a special person to raise a man the caliber of OS2 Lyons. I have a feeling you have done just as well. :ph34r:

Please tell your son thanks from me for his service.


Absolutely.
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Beautiful, ilja, and wonderful that you called his mother. I am sure she appreciated that there are still many people who want to keep her son's memory alive. He deserves that much, and you certainly delivered. Well done :ph34r:
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aldebaran, on Sep 11 2006, 02:21 PM, said:

Beautiful, ilja, and wonderful that you called his mother. I am sure she appreciated that there are still many people who want to keep her son's memory alive. He deserves that much, and you certainly delivered. Well done :ph34r:

Thank you for your kind words Alde. :shrug:

Just reading all of these tributes sure brings a face and real perwon to the many that died that day. I'm grateful for the person who started this project. I am humbled by the lives that all of these people lived.
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Great thread, Ilja!

Thank you for posting such an uplifting story; on a day that we shall never forget, and for people will shall always cherish.
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FrankieHere, on Sep 11 2006, 03:54 PM, said:

Great thread, Ilja!

Thank you for posting such an uplifting story; on a day that we shall never forget, and for people will shall always cherish.

Thank you Frankie. It's so good to see you again. :hug:
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ilja, on Sep 11 2006, 02:06 PM, said:

FrankieHere, on Sep 11 2006, 03:54 PM, said:

Great thread, Ilja!

Thank you for posting such an uplifting story; on a day that we shall never forget, and for people will shall always cherish.

Thank you Frankie. It's so good to see you again. :hug:


Nothing has changed....................I am a ILJA fan, forever!
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:hug: You know the ones about the sailors really get to me ilja. I knew so many guys like him in the Navy. <Sigh> ;) That was a beautiful tribute, and I'm so glad that you called his mother. I know that if anything like that had happened to me, my mom would have been very happy to know that someone cared. ;)
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ilja's Corny Corner

A Doctor, A Lawyer, A Little Boy And A Priest
A doctor, a lawyer, a little boy and a priest were out for a Sunday afternoon flight on a small private plane. Suddenly, the plane developed engine trouble. In spite of the best efforts of the pilot, the plane started to go down. Finally, the pilot grabbed a parachute, yelled to the passengers that they had better jump, and then he bailed out.

Unfortunately, there were only three parachutes remaining. The doctor grabbed one and said "I'm a doctor, I save lives, so I must live," and jumped out.

The lawyer then said, "I'm a lawyer and lawyers are the smartest people in the world. I deserve to live." He also grabbed a parachute and jumped.

The priest looked at the little boy and said, "My son, I've lived a long and full life. You are young and have your whole life ahead of you. Take the last parachute and live in peace."

The little boy handed the parachute back to the priest and said, "Not to worry, Father. The 'smartest man in the world' just took off with my back pack."

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ilja's Favorite RightNation Quotes

View Postspt, on 03 May 2011 - 05:32 PM, said:

I think maybe we should all go for a drink and ask for the new drink....it is called the Bin Laden...2 shots and a splash of water :drinkers: :drinkers:
http://i147.photobuc.../lmaosmiley.gif

View PostBrian Fellow, on 15 December 2012 - 02:45 PM, said:

Sorry was busy reading a tweet from an adamant 'pro-choice' person about gun control and 'how many children have to die before we do something'?

http://i147.photobuc...%202/anj_up.gif A perfect example of both irony and hypocrisy.

Quote

John Mauldin relates the details of a conversation he had with John Boehner, the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

At the :50 Maudlin describes Boehner telling him that Obama has,
“…balls made out of marshmallows…”

View PostSonofThunder, on 26 February 2013 - 05:47 AM, said:

If that is true, why do we see Boehner continually backing down and rolling over while Obama stands firm and never compromises?

View PostGertie Keddle, on 26 February 2013 - 06:34 AM, said:

'Cause he's a Campfire Girl?
http://i147.photobuc...06/kneeslap.gif

NEVER FORGET!

Staff Sgt. Matt Maupin’s long road home ended Saturday in a blaze of yellow ribbons, the silent tribute of people who lined the roads, and the respect of thousands more who filed past his coffin at a public visitation . . . “If four people showed up, that’s OK with me,” said Keith Maupin, the soldier’s father, as he took a mid-afternoon break outside the Civic Center, where many came up to him to shake his hand or give him a hug . . . Matt Maupin became the face of the war in Iraq for thousands here and across the country in April 2004, when an Arab TV station aired a tape showing the Union Township soldier kneeling and surrounded by masked men carrying automatic rifles . . .Four years and millions of prayers later, a tip from an Iraqi citizen led U.S. soldiers to the farm area northwest of Baghdad where Matt Maupin’s remains were found on March 20 . . .Scoutmaster David Bacon said the boys of Troop 511 had been well aware of the story of Matt Maupin and wanted to pay their own tribute.“I’ve talked to them many times about Matt,” said Bacon, whose cousin, Lance Cpl. David Kreuter, was killed in Iraq in 2005. “They understand it was the sacrifice of young men like Matt that gives us the freedom to meet every Monday night. There are places in the world where Boy Scouting is not allowed.” http://i147.photobuc.../3yqo3h0.gifPFC Keith Matthew MaupinCaptured in IraqApril 9, 2004

We Owe Them So Much

http://i147.photobuc.../troopsspin.gifNever Mind the Cost by c.m.steppe ©2001 There's a young man far from home, Called in time of war; Sent to defend our freedom On some distant foreign shore. On some distant foreign shore. We pray You keep him safe, We pray You keep him strong, We pray You send him safely home ... For he's been away so long. For he's been away so long. There's a young woman far from home, Serving U.S.A. with pride. Her every step is strong and sure, Courage in every stride. Courage in every stride. We pray You keep her safe, We pray You keep her strong, We pray You send her safely home ... For she's been away too long. For she's been away too long. Bless those who wait their safe return. Bless those who mourn the lost. Bless those who serve this country well, Never mind the cost. Never mind the cost. God, Bless America!

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An Email From God?

I got this in an email today and though it doesn't say who wrote it, I don't doubt these things could have happened.'MEET ME IN THE STAIRWELL' You say you will never forget where you were when you heard the news On September 11, 2001. Neither will I. I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room with a man who called his wife to say 'Good-Bye.' I held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the peace to say, 'Honey, I am not going to make it, but it is OK..I am ready to go.' I was with his wife when he called as she fed breakfast to their children. I held her up as she tried to understand his words and as she realized he wasn't coming home that night. I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a woman cried out to Me for help. 'I have been knocking on the door of your heart for 50 years!' I said. 'Of course I will show you the way home - only believe in Me now.' I was at the base of the building with the Priest ministering to the injured and devastated souls. I took him home to tend to his Flock in Heaven. He heard my voice and answered. I was on all four of those planes, in every seat, with every prayer. I was with the crew as they were overtaken. I was in the very hearts of the believers there, comforting and assuring them that their faith has saved them. I was in Texas , Virginia , California , Michigan , Afghanistan ... I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news. Did you sense Me? I want you to know that I saw every face. I knew every name - though not all know Me. Some met Me for the first time on the 86th floor. Some sought Me with their last breath. Some couldn't hear Me calling to them through the smoke and flames; 'Come to Me... this way... take my hand.' Some chose, for the final time, to ignore Me. But, I was there. I did not place you in the Tower that day. You may not know why, but I do. However, if you were there in that explosive moment in time, would you have reached for Me? Sept. 11, 2001, was not the end of the journey for you. But someday your journey will end. And I will be there for you as well. Seek Me now while I may be found. Then, at any moment, you know you are 'ready to go.' I will be in the stairwell of your final moments. God http://i147.photobuc...3/knowjesus.gif