• DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley on bench with children and flowers

    Marjorie’s Favorite Blog Posts (there are 300 now!)

    300!!! Okay, I still haven’t written a book. I haven’t even really managed to outline one. But I have 300 blog posts under my belt (and some other articles as well) so I think I can finally say that I’m a writer. Or something like that. Anyway, today’s post is a highlight of those 300 blog posts – you can click on each link to send you to that specific story. These posts below are some of my favorites, though there are others that I love. I tried to pick a range of posts, so that each one tells a little bit of a different story. Maybe you come to…

  • Image of book with sunshine like that read by husband of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley

    September 11, 2001

    I was falling asleep at night when I got a call from a friend. “Turn on the TV,” he said. I couldn’t understand what I was seeing. I couldn’t understand what I was hearing, either, as the broadcast was in a language I didn’t yet know. But as the minutes turned into hours, as our friends gathered together to pull an all-nighter watching the one TV in our building with international news, as we sat in shock as the sun came up, all we knew was this: September 11, 2001 was going to change our lives forever. I had been in Japan for a month. About two weeks earlier, I’d…

  • Shawn Brimley's family at the CNAS portrait dedication in DC

    Bill Brimley’s Speech at CNAS in Honor of His Son, Shawn

    Below is a transcript of the speech Bill Brimley, Shawn’s father, gave to CNAS on October 29, 2018. Thank-you Richard, Michele and Kurt, and thank-you everyone for being here this evening to celebrate and honor the life and accomplishments of our son Shawn. Ever since Shawn passed away in January, many people have asked Shawn’s mother Sheryll and I – how he did it. How did he accomplish so many things – how did he achieve so much success, at such a young age? You all know more about Shawn and his career in Washington than we do. His work in the pentagon, the White House, and here at CNAS.…

  • Shawn Brimley and his three children hugging in front of their DC home

    CNAS Tribute to Shawn (Part 2)

    Below are the remarks I gave on October 29, 2018 at the CNAS event honoring the life and work of Shawn Brimley. Thank you all so much for being here to honor Shawn. I thought a lot about what I wanted to say to you tonight. Shawn was a brilliant, funny, thoughtful man, and I have many good things to say about him and his impact on the world. It’s hard to choose the best Shawn story or fully describe the impact he had on his coworkers, friends and family. Instead, I decided I would speak about what Shawn valued as his greatest lifetime achievement: being a dad to Claire,…

  • Shawn Brimley backpacking before cancer

    Michele Flournoy’s Eulogy of Shawn

    Below is the eulogy that Michele Flournoy gave at Shawn’s funeral. Shawn Brimley was an extraordinary human being. A devoted husband and father. One of the country’s most brilliant and respected defense intellectuals. An innovator and institution builder. A truly beloved colleague, mentor and friend. And an example for us all. He was in his prime, his sun still rising in what seemed like a bright blue sky. He died too young and too suddenly, and we – those who loved him — are left behind in shock, heartbroken, bereft. But if Shawn were here, he would want us to complement our grief with a celebration of his life. For…

  • A portrait of Shawn Brimley for CNAS

    CNAS Tribute to Shawn

    Below is the speech I gave on Thursday, June 21st in honor of Shawn.  The CNAS Next Gen Program will now be called the Shawn Brimley Next Generation National Security Leaders Program. Thank you all for having me here, and congratulations to the Next Gen Class of 2018. I am Marjorie Brimley, Shawn Brimley’s wife.  I’ve been invited here to tell you a little bit more about Shawn. Shawn and I met teaching in Japan, and he proposed a year later on the beach with a ring made out of a coconut shell.  We moved to Washington with very little except each other and a belief that somehow we could…