Ronald John Hemenway – Electronics Technician, United States Navy


From a contemporary press report:

Unidentifiable remains of victims of the September 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery, the military said Friday.

The September 12, 2002, ceremony will hold special significance for families of five people whose remains have never been identified, said Colonel Jody Draves, a spokeswoman for the Military District of Washington, which oversees the cemetery.

The service will include burial of the cremated ashes of all remains not linked to a particular victim, as well as some remains which were identified that family members asked to be included.

“The intent is not as a memorial service but as a group burial for victims not identified,” Draves said.

The Pentagon attack killed 189 people: 125 in the Pentagon and 64 aboard American Airlines Flight 77. Remains of the five hijackers on the flight have been separated from those of the victims.

The five victims whose remains have not been identified include:

Retired Army Colonel Ronald Golinski, a civilian Pentagon worker
Navy ET1 Ronald Henanway
Rhonda Rasmussen, a civilian worker for the Army
James T. Lynch, a civilian worker for the Navy

Dana Falkenberg, a passenger on Flight 77

Many relatives will also attend a group burial September 12, 2002, at Arlington National Cemetery honoring the 184 victims who were killed at the Pentagon or on the plane that was crashed into the building when five hijackers took control. Remains from many of the victims will be placed in a single casket and buried in a grave site marked with a headstone bearing all the victims’ names.

The unique ceremony at Arlington will include a funeral service at the Memorial Amphitheater near the Tomb of the Unknowns, the first time the amphitheater will be used for such a service since an unknown service member from the Vietnam War was buried there in 1984 during an emotional Memorial Day ceremony with President Ronald Reagan. Those remains were exhumed in 1998 for DNA tests, which showed that they were of Air Force Captain Michael Blassie.

Friday March 8, 2002:

Shawnee Family To Have Arlington Memorial Service For Pentagon Victim

A Shawnee family is going to Arlington National Cemetery to say goodbye to a son lost in the attack on the Pentagon September 11, 2001, KMBC 9 News’ Bev Chapman reported Friday.

For Ronald Hemenway’s family, this will be the third memorial service they have attended. His family held a private service a few weeks ago in Shawnee. Ronald’s wife requested the ceremony Monday at Arlington.

Ronald’s mother, Shirley Hemenway, said she is still struggling with the loss of her 37-year-old son. Ronald was a Naval electronics technician who died in the September 11 crash at the Pentagon.

Ronald was one of six children. Fifteen people plan to attend Monday’s memorial. Red Cross representatives said they would pay for transportation for seven people.

“We didn’t know we were going to be able to go until yesterday,” Shirley said.

Shirley said they have no remains for Ronald, who left sea duty aboard the USS LaSalle to be closer oo his family in a safe assignment at the Pentagon.

A flag flies in the Hemenways’ front yard as a tribute.

Red Cross officials said that in addition to the flights, they are providing hotel rooms and food vouchers. A spokeswoman in Washington, D.C., said they are trying to accommodate as many people as possible, Chapman reported.

Courtesy of the Hemenway Family:

Ronald Hemenway was born July 25, 1964 in Cordova, Alaska, the third of Robert and Shirley Hemenway’s seven children. Bob and Shirley moved to Alaska in 1961 where Bob worked in the telecommunications field.  At the time of Ronald’s birth they lived at Cape Yakataga, a now-abandoned spot on the Gulf Coast. They had no electricity or running water and Shirley flew to Cordova for Ronald’s birth. Ronald started grade school in Fairbanks, Alaska,and attended Wasilla Baptist Christian School in Palmer for four years; he graduated from Wasilla High School in Wasilla, Alaska and attended the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, where he took photography and chemistry classes.

The family moved to Atlanta in 1984 seeking warmer weather, and after one year at the University, Ronald followed the family south, deciding to pursue a career in horse breeding.  He lived with his brother in Georgia and worked for Pyrazine Specialties, a chemical firm where he advanced rapidly. He had an opportunity to train at Monty Foreman’s equestrian school in Colorado and he was there for one year. He spent some time living on a ranch and bred the family pet quarter horse, “Sweet Double Cross”, and raised a stallion, “Bar-None”. Ronald purchased a
Dutch warm blood mare with the intention to breed.

His father was reassigned to Kansas, and once again Ronald followed them to be closer to the family. He got a job with Venture and also worked part-time at Western Auto. His horses were boarded at Covered “M” Ranch in Shawnee, Kansas.

When Ronald turned 30, he was concerned about not having a degree and one day left his mother a note saying “I’ll be home when I find a job with a career.” He returned home later that evening saying he was joining the Navy. He left for Great Lakes, Illinois on November 29, 1994. He aced his aptitude tests and had his choice of schools.  He attended the Electronics School in Great Lakes, IL for eleven months and graduated with an average of 96.7 with Distinguished Military Graduate. Because he was at the top of his class he had his pick of assignments and chose the US La Salle, a flagship, stationed in Gaeta, Italy.

His mother teased him that he would meet an Italian girl and get married, and he did. He met Marinella and the two were married in Italy in March 1997. They came to the US and renewed their vows at a double ceremony with his sister, Kathleen at Hope Lutheran Church in Shawnee, KS in June 1997.

Ronald and Marinella’s first child, Stefan, was born on November 6, 1998 and for the first time in his Navy career Ronald was sent out to sea for six months to refurbish the US La Salle. His previous sea duty was no longer than  five weeks. He decided to seek a position that wouldn’t take him from his new family, and went to work at the Pentagon in March 2000 assigned to the Office of the Chief of Navy Operations. Ronald and Marinella’s second child, a daughter, Desiree was born on November 12, 2000.

On September 11, 2001, a Tuesday morning just before 10:00 a.m., a commercial jetliner struck the west side of the Pentagon. Ronald was officially declared missing. On September 17, 2001 a flag was flown over the United States Capitol at the request of Senator Sam Brownback in memory of Petty Officer Ronald J. Hemenway for his dedicated service in the United States Armed Forces. Ronald was honored with others lost at the Pentagon in a Memorial Service attended by President George W. Bush, held on October 11, 2001 at the Pentagon River Parade Field. A Christian Memorial Service in memory of Ronald was held at Hope Lutheran Church in Shawnee, Kansas, on January 12, 2002. The flag that was flown at the Capitol building was presented to the Hemenway family and raised at a ceremony on Bob and Shirley’s property in Shawnee.


  • ET1   US NAVY
  • DATE OF BIRTH: 07/25/1964
  • DATE OF DEATH: 09/11/2001

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