Tuesday 19 November 2019

Victims from more than 90 nations recalled by loved ones back home

Dean Grey in London

A mother in Malaysia greeted her dead son. People in Manila left roses for the victim who helped give them homes. And mourners in Tokyo stood before a piece of steel from Ground Zero, remembering the 23 bank employees who never made it out alive.

A decade after 9/11, the day that changed so much for so many people, the world's leaders and citizens paused to reflect yesterday.

Formal ceremonies and moments of personal remembrance took place across the world -- from Rome to Kuala Lumpur -- for the 3,000 victims from more than 90 countries that were killed on 9/11.

Pope Benedict XVI prayed for those killed in the terrorist attacks and appealed for people "to always reject violence and be inspired by the principles of solidarity, justice and peace".

In Malaysia, Navaratnam Pathmawathy woke up in her Kuala Lumpur home and wished her son Vijayashanker "Good morning".

Vijayashanker Pathmawathy, a 23-year-old financial analyst was killed in the attacks on New York. "He is my sunshine. He lived life to the fullest, but I can't accept that he is not here anymore," said Ms Navaratnam.

In Manila, dozens of former shanty dwellers offered roses, balloons and prayers for another 9/11 victim, Marie Rose Abad, an American citizen and businesswoman.

Their district used to be a slum but Rudy Abad, Marie Rose's Filipino-American husband, built 50 homes, fulfilling his wife's wish to help impoverished people in the Philippines. The village has since been named after her.

Players from the American Eagles rugby team were among the first to mark the anniversary at a service in New Zealand at the Rugby World Cup. The players listened to a speech by David Huebner, the US ambassador, whose brother Rick survived the attacks on the World Trade Centre.

Rae Tompsett (81) was among the crowd that packed Sydney's Catholic Cathedral St Mary's for a special multi-faith service. She said that she's never felt angry over the murder of her son Stephen Tompsett (39) in the attacks.


"No, not anger," she said. "Sorrow. Sorrow that the people who did this believed they were doing something good."

In Japan, families gathered in Tokyo to pay their respects to the 23 Fuji Bank employees who never made it out of their Twin Towers office.

A dozen of the workers who died were Japanese. Relatives of the victims laid flowers in front of a glass case containing a small section of steel from Ground Zero.

There were anti-American protests in Pakistan but the government said they joined the US in honouring the dead.

"As a country that has been severely affected by terrorism, we reaffirm our national resolve to strengthening international cooperation for the elimination of terrorism," Pakistan's foreign affairs ministry said.

In the Indian state of Manipur, Yambem Laba gathered 100 family members and close friends to remember his brother, Jupiter, the manager at the Roof of the World restaurant in the World Trade Centre.

"Now that Osama bin Laden is dead, my brother's soul will finally rest in peace," he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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