Friday, September 08, 2006
September 11, 2006: I honor Christian Hans Rudolf Wemmers
On September 11, 2001, Christian Hans Rudolf Wemmers was attending a tradeshow in the World Trade Center. Chris was the director of Product Management for Callixa, a software company. He was one of the 2,996 that lost their lives on this historic day. This tribute is part of the 2,996 project, and you can read all of the other memorials by clicking here.

Chris Wemmers moved from Ahrensburg (a town outside Hamburg), Germany to Jackson, Michigan, as a 16-year-old exchange student. It seemed to be his life long dream to move to the United States. "When he was a little boy, he already knew that one day he wanted to live in California because of the sunny climate," writes his sister, Sibylle Dircks, in an e-mail message from Germany. "He always enjoyed the American way of life, the friendly, polite people, who were so different to Germans."

Chris Wemmers is remembered as a fun, loving, engaging man, who had the ability to immediately endear himself to others. Even in college, at Stetson University, he and his fraternity brothers at Delta Sigma Phi were often involved in "hijinks and fun." One fraternity brother remembers great times drinking beer, and listening to Dylan's "Highway 61." Another remembers that he "exhibited a sense of class and purpose."

Later, Chris attended Thunderbird American Graduate School of International Management in Glendale Arizona.

Sometime after college, he moved to San Francisco, where he worked at Prism, Luminate, and Callixa. Many co-workers remarked on his love foosball. One coworker from Luminate, fondly recalled his foosball matches with Chris:
"Chris and I would play foosball on the average of 3 times a day. It always began with one of us stepping into the other's office and making gestures with our hands like we were turning foosball handles - that was the invitation. Our games were usually close and much taunting and psychological positioning occurred and, truth be told, the 'psyching out' was the most fun part."

Chris truly loved San Francisco, and was known to offer a warm welcome to friends visiting from throughout the US and the UK and Germany. He enjoyed great food, in "trendy restaurants in the financial district" or a "nice French restaurant in Haight-Ashbury." His friend, Rebecca Cleff, remembered that he loved the Bay Area because "he could go for a 10-mile hike through the forest, over hills and to the ocean during the day, and then a great restaurant and show in the evening."

Chris loved hiking the hills in and around San Francisco. Many people recall spending time with him, looking over vistas of the City and taking in the views, especially those of Twin Peaks. Ms. Cleff remembers how he told another friend that if he had to die, he'd prefer to just go to the top of a mountain and disappear." Chris vanished on top of an urban mountain," she wrote in an e-mail message, "an incredible metaphoric combination of his favorite places."

Back when I decided to join the 2,996 project, fate brought me to Christian Hans Rudolf Wemmers, a San Francisco resident, attending a trade show in NYC. As I am also from the Bay Area, this research and memorial is especially poignant to me. I humbly offer the video above, hosted by You Tube. It includes photography I shot at Twin Peaks, the Financial District, and Ocean Beach in San Francico, mostly on 9/10/06, specifically for this project. These are all places it seemed Chris enjoyed, and were mentioned by his friends and family in tributes at I'm honored to be a part of this project, and happy to have had the experience of getting to know a little about Chris Wemmers' life.

Research for this memorial was done on the following sites:


Blogger Dayngr said...

It is so incredible to read about these wonderful people. My tribute is up as well. WOnderful job.

Blogger Raggedy said...

Wonderful Tribute!
Thank you.
These are heartbreaking stories and difficult to read....
I am honored to be a part of this project.
Mine is posted also...

Bless you...

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

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