2011 Messages

Wayland Greetings posted September 2011:

Wayland's Tribute to Ann (on page 22)


Daily Citizen Newspaper http://www.wiscnews.com/bdc/ posted September 2011, written by Terri Pederson:

Wayland will Honor Alumni Killed in September 11 Attacks

If you listen closely on Sunday morning, you will hear the sound of Wayland Academy mourning one of its own.

The carillon bells in Kimberly Chapel at Wayland Academy will ring 10 times beginning at 7:46 a.m. in remembrance of the 10thanniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The bells will ring in honor of Ann Nelson, a class of 1989 alumna, who was working on the 104th floor of the WTC as a bond broker for Cantor Fitzgerald.

"She was a kid with a positive outlook who liked trying new things," said Kris Boucher, Wayland's associate dean of admissions and college counseling. "She was always looking for adventures."

That search for adventure is what led her to Wayland during her junior year. Boucher said Ann learned about Wayland from a friend of her parents Gary and Jenette Nelson.

"She told them I got to go to Wayland," Boucher recalled, who was the athletic director at the time and coached her in tennis.

Ann was also on the ski team at the school.

"She was a genuine kid and pretty mature for her age," Boucher said. "She was proud about being from North Dakota but she was going to see the world."

Nelson was from Stanley, N.D. She attended Campus School in Minot N.D. before spending her junior and senior years at Wayland.She went on to attend Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. She also studied at the University of Cambridge in England and spent a semester on a study tour throughout China.

She had also traveled in Peru, Norway and Ireland.

Wayland honors Nelson in several ways. A bench honoring Nelson is in the courtyard of the library, a cross that was given to her parents made out of metal found at Ground Zero and there is also a memorial award that is given out in her honor.

"Every year a bouquet of flowers is left on the bench before anyone else shows up at the school," Sue Voigt, director of public information and publications for Wayland, said. "Somebody must know how they get there, but I have no idea. It's a mystery to many people."

The school will honor Ann Nelson on Sept. 12 at Kimberly Chapelat the request of her family. The date was chosen because Gary Nelson travels to New York every year to read Ann's name during9-11 remembrance ceremony.

Voigt said that Jenette has only been to New York during November of 2001 and hasn't returned since.

"Jenette likes to feel like Ann is still with her," Voigt said."She said she doesn't even visit her grave very much."

The Nelsons along with a friend of Ann's from Wayland, Suzanne Boggs Scherb, class of 1989, will speak during the program. There will also be school officials and staff presenting during the program and the Wayland Concert Choir will perform.

Some of Nelson's teachers will speak about her. Boucher said she is a girl they have never forgotten.

"She would light up a room," Boucher said.


Daily Citizen Newspaper http://www.wiscnews.com/bdc/ posted September 2011, written by Terri Pederson::

Wayland Academy Honors Ann

A day after ceremonies throughout the country for those lost on Sept. 11, 2001, Wayland Academy honored Ann Nelson.

Nelson, a class of 1989 alumna, was working on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center towers as a bond broker for Cantor Fitzgerald when terrorists flew planes into the buildings.

Wayland students quietly listened to the reflections about Ann including stories from her best friend from Wayland and her father Gary Nelson.

Her graduation photo was enlarged and placed in front of Kimberly Chapel.

"All of our lives are much different than they were before Sept.11," said Wayland President Brian Cheek who visited New York Fridayand was able to visit the Ground Zero site.

Susan Peterson, chair of board of trustees for Wayland, told the students that it seemed every generation has a historic marker ortwo during their lifetimes.

"Sept. 11, 2001, for those of us who are old enough to remember(is one)," Peterson said.

Peterson said Ann came to Wayland Academy in search of a better education. She received the highest honor of any Wayland student in1989.

Gary Nelson said his entire family was busy on Sept. 11 honoring Ann

Nelson said there is no closure for him and that there would never be. However, he is still learning from Ann about life and following the lessons she had given him about enjoying life.

Suzanne Boggs Scherb, a 1989 graduate, spoke of the last time she spoke to Ann Nelson and of how quickly they became friends after Scherb enrolled at Wayland. She said her college was close to Ann's college at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. And the two were fast friends.

In August 2001, Scherb said she was in a rush and received a call from Ann who in an exuberant voice talked to her about her life in New York and how she was looking at buying a piece of property in her home state.

"The last thing she shared was how important our friendship was to her," Scherb said. "It has made it where I always tell people what they mean to me because you never know if you'll have the chance to do it again. Two weeks after our call was Sept. 11."


Posted by Jason Brandt, September 11, 2011:

Not Forgotten

I was a classmate of Ann and I graduated from Wayland in 1990. Although Ann and I knew of each other, we didn't really know each other. Whether it was her warm smile or kind personality, Ann was always someone that people wanted to be around.

As a firefighter in Louisville, Kentucky, I felt pain of losing 343 of my brothers and sisters on that fateful day. Ten years later and I am still trying to comprehend the magnitude of the nearly 3,000 people lost. One thought fills my mind on this today. I wish that young boy, that little kid that I was, would have stopped and talked to her a bit more. Ann will always be remembered as a wonderful person and truly missed.

Jason Brandt
Class 1990


Posted by Anne Leonhart, September 11, 2011:

10 Year Anniversary

To the Friends and Family of Ann,

Thinking of you guys today and every day!!!!

Anne Leonhart
Fargo, North Dakota

P.S. To Gary, I am the one who worked for Sprint PCS back in 2001. I'm not sure if you remember me but we were going to meet up and never did. I would love the opportunity to meet you. I can be reached at any time.

(701) 200-0168

Posted by Stacy Burnside, September 11, 2011:

Remembering Ann

Ten years have passed since we lost Ann and I had not spoken to her since I graduated from Carleton in 1992, but want to share a story with you about Ann.

In February 1991, I found myself pregnant. I was nine hours away from home and a junior at Carleton. Being 20 was confusing enough, but to find yourself in a situation where you are faced with caring for another life was numbing. As Carleton is a microcosm of society, I was faced with many reactions: people being indifferent, people supporting me, people speaking ill of me, people being angry at me, and people avoiding me as if what I had was contagious. Since Carleton is a very small school, the news of my pregnancy spread like wildfire. Also, the size of the school also meant that there was a strong possibility that people were friends with both me and my son's father. Ann was one of those individuals.

The situation was extremely stressful for me and all I wanted was to have my child and finish college so I could continue living my life. That was extremely hard in an environment where people are whispering about you, looking at you angrily and saying really mean things about you. Ann was one of the few mutual friends that did not change how she treated me. She said people have babies every day and she didn't know what was wrong with people. I know she may have felt a bit odd at times being she was dating one of my father's closest friends at the time, but he treated me with kindness as well.

I just wanted you to know that while I had great fun hanging out with Ann at campus parties, she brought me comfort in an hour of great need. I will never forget her kindness and will always remember her friendship.

Stacy L. Burnside
Carleton `92

Stace: "There is a difference between conviction and commitment."


Posted by Sharon Goodman, September 11, 2011:

On This 10th Anniversary

Gary & Jenette,

On this September 11, 2011, the 10th Anniversary of Ann's untimely death, please know she is not forgotten. She lives on in the hearts of so many of us and her list of things to do, to be, to accomplish makes us all aware of our own need to be the best we can be during our time here on earth. She was and continues to be special. In all you have done in the past 10 years, you have kept Ann alive to the world in a great number of positive and productive ways.

Peace and love,



Posted by Thomas Jacobs, September 11, 2011:

Remembering Ann

I just wanted to say that I was at Carleton when Ann was there - I graduated in `94. She was one of the most engaging and interesting people I have ever met. She was a few years ahead of me, but we shared many friends (Dave Hoppe, Paul Tewes, Mark Philstrom, and so on), and I was always intimidated to some degree by her beauty and grace.

I saw her a few times in New York (I have lived here now for 14 years), and she was always incredibly kind and lovely in every way.

The world is not quite the same without her in it, and I hope you and the rest of the family know what an extraordinary woman Ann was.

All my best to all of you.

Tom Jacobs


Posted by Anonymous, September 2011:

10 Year Anniversary

Joining your family in memory of your precious daughter. We still remember the sacrifice made.


Posted by Roger Branigan, September 2011:

We remember.  My thoughts, like those of so many others, will be with you all this Sunday.


Roger Branigin

Carleton Class of 1986


Posted by Paul Murphy, September 2011

The Wee Lass, Who Left My Heart Broken

1,2,3,4 every year I miss you more, 5,6,7,8,9,10 I love you like a Beatles song.

Ann, every thought of you brings a smile to my face. Like a happy play full little melody, you are always on my mind. You are my sunshine and what a beacon of kindness you were to us all. God shares the good things in life and I am a richer man for having had you in it.

Siochain shioral dult,

Posted by Roger Branigin, September 2011:

Ann Nelson

We remember. My thoughts, like those of so many others, will be with you all this Sunday.

Roger Branigin
Carleton Class of 1986


Posted by Jeffrey Collier, September 2011:

Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Concert


I am the executive director of the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra. As you may know, we are presenting our opening concert as a tribute to the 10th anniversary of 9/11 next Saturday, September 10, at the Belle Mehus Auditorium. A generous donor has made a contribution and has requested that we include a bit of information about Ann Nelson in the program book, which we are happy to do with your consent

I certainly want to respect the family's wishes in this situation, so please do let me know if there is any concern with offer the program in this manner. The program currently says "Tonight's concert is presented in memory of Ann Nicole Nelson," and this would be followed by the content from your website.

Thank you for your assistance and my best wishes to you and your family as the tenth anniversary is remembered this week.

Most sincerely,
Jeff Collier

Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra
Office: (701) 258-8345
Mobile: (423) 284-0766
Email: jcollier@midconetwork.com


Posted by Jenette Nelson, September 2011:


We are honored. Thank you.

Jenette Nelson


Bottineau Winter Park

Link to Bottineau Winter Park with Information about Annie's House and how you can help


Annie's House Press Release

Pdf version of press release about Annie's House can be found here


Posted by Melissa May 2011:

Happy Birthday My Dear Friend

I miss you, Ann! We celebrated our birthdays together in 2001 and I wish that we could do it again this year. I flew to New York to see you on your 30th birthday and we had a great week in the city. As you did not want to miss celebrating a birthday with your family, you also flew home to North Dakota during that time and Eric and I shared your apartment for a couple days without you. Then, you and Eric flew to Minneapolis for my birthday in August. That was the last time I saw you, three weeks before 9/11. Looking back, I am so grateful that we had that time together. I wonder how we would have marked 40? I imagine that it would have been a great girls' trip!!! Alot has happened in ten years. Where would you be and what would your life be like now? How I wish that I could share it with you!

Always in my heart,


Posted by Audrey  May 2011:


To Ann and your family,

I hope today brings some measure of justice and peace. I was thinking of the Nelson family earlier tonight and I hope that todays news helps in some way. You are in many peoples hearts and thoughts. Peace to you

Audrey (classmate)


Posted by Anne Moum May 2011:


Justice served to you, Ann! These past 10 years have been, in a sense, a competition for power over righteousness. Bin Laden has been working to rid the world of good. He has failed!! Our American forces have won this competition! Ann, I always knew you loved a little competition. You and the American people can hold their heads high today in the pride in America! Bin Laden will no longer try to take good from our world. Your memory lives on...

- Anne M. Moum


Posted by Jenette Nelson April 2011:

Annie's House at Bottineau Winter Park

Here is a link to a .pdf describing a wonderful project at Bottineau's Winter Park:

Annie's House at Bottineau Winter Park

Project Summary

The New York Says Thank You Foundation, one the Nation’s leading volunteer
organizations focused on the 9/11 Anniversary, is partnering with The Bottineau
Winter Park in Bottineau, ND to help build Annie’s House at Bottineau Winter Park –
North Dakota’s first adaptive ski facility to teach disabled children, young adults,
and wounded warriors how to ski. The facility is being built in honor of Ann Nelson, a
resident of Stanley, North Dakota who was the only North Dakota resident to perish in
the World Trade Center attacks in New York City on 9/11.

North Dakota Kindergarten Association, President


Posted by Jenette Nelson April 2011:

Thank You to Wilson

Dear Wilson,

I want to thank you and those who helped you make the U-tube presentation about our only daughter, Ann, who was working on the 104th floor of the world trade center on 911. I was struck by the sensitivity and talent that created this piece to say nothing about the kindness and generosity that motivated you do this on the 10th anniversary of her death. I remember you as a leader of our high school class, Wilson, and it touched my heart to see you resume that role in comforting my loss.

Your song had a hauntingly beautiful quality to it that expressed the sorrow that I feel and at the same time soothed it. It felt as if you shared my mourning.

The images that you sought out and selected for the visual part of the presentation told her story succinctly and movingly. I have rarely experienced such harmony between visual and auditory output as I did with your song and her story. Each enhanced the other, creating a beautiful synergy.

Mr. Slater and his staff certainly have a talent for what they do. Their use of all the elements and principles of design created a very powerful piece. I felt the music was especially appropriate, and the editing was flawless. Since I do not know how to reach them personally, I hope you will share my sentiments with them for me.

By now this U-tube address has been sent to people from coast to coast. The responses that I have received are glowingly full of praise.
I hope that they will share their thoughts and comments on the Internet, but I was not able to get through with mine. I will keep trying.

With a grateful heart,
(Annie's Mom)


Posted by Wilson Gillette  April 2011:

Annie's Gone Home Video

Here is a link to a video remembrance of Ann by Wilson Gillette, a high school classmate of Jenette from Newtown:


Our Past, Present and Future

A time when the blinders
Will fall helpless from our eyes
Once more we’ll see the spirits of our past
Once more their presence will be fully realized.cont.