Wednesday, September 12, 2001

America Attacked

Emergency Service personnel stand near the seven
remaining floors of the World Trade Center’s
north tower this morning.

At least 2 from
isles killed in attacks

Others anxiously await word

By Rod Antone and Helen Altonn

Two Hawaii women, Christine Snyder and Georgine Rose Corrigan, and the son of a Maui artist have been confirmed killed in yesterday's terrorist attacks against the United States, while the family of Heather Ho, who grew up in Hawaii, feared the worst.

Yesterday, Aikahi resident Ian Pescaia heard the worst. Snyder, his wife of only three months, was on the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in western Pennsylvania, in an apparently thwarted attempt by terrorists hoping to destroy a third American landmark.

Snyder, 32, an arborist with the Outdoor Circle, was on her way home after attending an American Forestry Conference in Washington, D.C., and visiting New York City. But her UAL flight out of Newark, N.J., carrying 38 passengers, two pilots and five flight attendants, crashed southeast of Pittsburgh, killing all aboard.

"She was a vivacious, dedicated, beautiful young lady," said Outdoor Circle Vice President Alan Fujimori. "It's really a tragedy."

"People like that don't come along everyday in life," Pescaia said of his wife. He had talked to her two days ago and "she said everything was fine.

"I hope the president steps up and does the right thing and asks no questions and takes no prisoners. These people are all dead for nothing."

Also aboard UAL flight 93 was Corrigan, a well-known Honolulu antique and collectibles dealer described as "like a mother to a lot of people."

She had been on the East Coast on a buying trip for a November collectibles show at the Blaisdell Center.

Joe O'Neill, who owns Hawaii Antique Center, said Corrigan had closed her antique shop, Courtyard Antiques, at Kilohana Square but is still connected in the collectible business.

"She is a tireless worker who has the highest integrity... just an overall nice person," he said.

Eileen Wong and Wayne Maeda of Eileen and Wayne Productions, which puts on a collectible show every July, said Corrigan used to do the show with her brother, Kevin Marisay.

She did most of the collectible shows around town and also did antique shows at the Waioli Tea Room, Maeda said.

"She was one of the most caring people I know," Wong said. "She was someone who was like a mother figure to a lot of people. She always had good advice and was always optimistic."

Maeda said Corrigan "was a really nice person. She was always helpful to anybody who needed help." He said she used to go several times a year to Brimfield, Mass., to a huge antique market to bring antiques back. Possibly that's where she was on her last trip, he said.

While it was unclear how many people with Hawaii ties may be among the dead, the father of Heather Ho, a 1987 Punahou School graduate, was pessimistic about his daughter's fate.

Heather began working about a month ago as executive pastry chef at Windows on the World at the top of the World Trade Center, her father, businessman Stuart Ho, said.

He had not heard from her yesterday. "So we have to assume the worst," he said.

Also among the confirmed dead was Jude Larson, the 31-year-old son of Maui artist Curtis Larson, who was aboard American's hijacked Flight 11.

Jude Larson and his wife Natalie were en route to the University of California at Los Angeles, where he was attending college. "My mind can't seem to get over this," his father said today. "I think, 'How can they do this?' We open ourselves up and they take advantage of our weak spots."

Editor's note

Curtis Larson subsequently learned that his son is alive; he says he was the victim of a hoax.. For details, see our Sept. 18 edition.

Larson's wife Natalie, whose family lives in Boston, was a rising fashion model and had been to Italy four times in the last 18 months to work for Gucci.

"She was spectacularly beautiful," Curtis Larson said.

Meanwhile, other Hawaii residents with relatives and friends in Washington and New York were either still awaiting word or relieved to have received good news. Gloria Ablan of Honolulu told daughter Jennifer, a writer for Barron's in the World Trade Center, that her guardian angel was with her yesterday.

Jennifer overslept. Otherwise, she would have been at work when the planes flew into the New York landmarks.

In a telephone interview this morning, Jennifer said she normally goes to work at 9:30 a.m. but this week was supposed to attend a National Association of Business Economy conference at 7:45 a.m. in the trade center.

She went Monday and was supposed to go back yesterday for the conclusion of the conference, but "overslept. I'm a really lucky girl. I really am."

There were initial fears about Ablan's cousin, Monnette Ablan, who worked in the trade center for Dow Jones' compensation department, but she was later reported to be safe.

Although Ablan is grateful she escaped the destruction, "There are still people down there ... It's heartbreaking, really heartbreaking, because all walks of life, I know, go in and out of the World Trade Center."

Hawaii restaurateur Roy Yamaguchi still does not know the fate of some of his employees. Yamaguchi said most of his breakfast staff at his New York restaurant - located about a block and a half away from the World Trade Center - were evacuated safely to Staten Island. But he said he does not know about lunch and dinner workers who may have been walking to the restaurant when debris started coming down.

"It's frustrating," Yamaguchi said. "Even our manager, who lives in New Jersey, can't find out what's going on."

Aina Haina resident Scott Adams said his brother, Lt. Col. Joe Adams, was in the Pentagon when terrorists crashed a Boeing 757 into the northwest side of the building. Adams said his brother had just left the building minutes before impact. "He's alive, he's OK," Adams said. "But it was so devastating and the thought of losing your brother ... it really hurt.

"God has blessed us so much just keeping him alive."

Yesterday held tense hours for many Hawaii residents.

Cathy Lynn, who lives part-time in Kona, said the tragedy "is going to change all of our lives."

It began with a 4 a.m. phone call yesterday to Lynn and her husband, Whitney, from their 17-year-old daughter Ashley. She was driving to her school in San Jose, Calif., and saw people pulled over in their cars and weeping.

The big worry for the family was their son, Ryan Jones, senior editor of Slam Magazine in New York. "While I knew that probably he was fine because he doesn't live or work that close to the area, it was still terrifying," Cathy Lynn said. She couldn't get through to him by telephone and while she was able to send e-mail, she did not receive anything.

It took about 1 1/2 hours before he could get through to his parents in Kona on his office phone, she said.

Sonja Diaz, sales manager for McKenna Motors Kailua, finally reached her mother in New York after trying to call all morning yesterday.

Her mother, Noelia Diaz, is a social worker for the state with offices downtown near the World Trade Center.

"I just kept calling and calling until I finally got through. I heard a lot of noise in the background. She was outside walking, trying to find my sister in that frenzy," Diaz said, later reporting her mother had found her sister walking over a bridge to the Bronx.

Former Hawaii residents witnessed the destruction in New York.

Deirdre Shiozawa, a 1995 University of Hawaii graduate who works in marketing at a New York law firm with a perfect view of the World Trade Center, said, "It's pretty sick.

"I just went to the World Trade Center the other weekend to go shopping with my friend, and now it's gone. Before, you could look out the window from my workplace and see twin towers, and they're not there. It's very strange."

She woke up her mother in Honolulu to tell her she was all right.

Honolulu resident Laura Baker was watching the "Today" show when she saw the smoking remnants of the first airplane that crashed into the World Trade Center.

Baker, who works in the advertising department of Liberty House, immediately looked out the window of her room on the 33rd floor of the Dumont Plaza Hotel on 34th Street, where she had a "perfect view" of the center's twin towers.

Soon after, she saw a plane flying very low and crash into the center's second tower.

Laura Baker's friend, Ann Harakawa, a 1974 Punahou graduate, was at work yesterday morning at her graphic design business, Two Twelve Associates, at 90 West St., about a block or two from the World Trade Center.

Harakawa had a few anxious moments when her elevator stalled after the second plane hit, but was able to get out and get safely to her home and family in Brooklyn - but not before she witnessed "really horrible" sights, including body parts lying in the street, Baker said.

Shortly afterwards, the building Harakawa worked in collapsed.

Star-Bulletin reporters Richard Borreca, Gregg K. Kakesako, Gary Kubota and Treena Shapiro contributed to this report.

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