Thursday, September 13, 2001

America Attacked

Families hold
hope, memories

At least 3 people with isle ties
are dead and 3 are missing
after the terrorist attacks

By Rod Antone and Treena Shapiro |

Family members of Rich Y.C. Lee said he called his wife, Karen, when the World Trade Center was first hit. Lee, a 1986 Punahou School graduate, is vice president/director of equities technology for Cantor Fitzgerald e-speed, located on the 103rd floor of Tower One.

"We haven't heard from him since," said Lee's sister-in-law, Kim Lee.

Kim Lee, a 1988 Punahou graduate who also lives in Manhattan with her husband, said the family has been walking from hospital to hospital and filling out missing persons reports. The Lees believe Rich may be listed as a John Doe because he usually left his wallet in his briefcase.

"We're filling out six pages of description everywhere we go," Kim Lee said. "What kind of clothes he was wearing, fingerprints if we have them."

"There're thousands of people doing the same thing. ... It's just really hard."

Family and friends of Maile Hale, 26, are also anxiously awaiting word. Hale, valedictorian at Kaiser High School in 1993, is also unaccounted for.

Her lifelong friend Diane Ueki said, "She was the gentlest, kindest person." She truly loved her family, Ueki added.

Stuart Ho believes his daughter Heather is alive, though perhaps injured and unable to call home.

Punahou graduate Heather Ho is the executive pastry chef at the Windows of the World restaurant on top of the World Trade Center, and so far, there has been no word from or about her.

"Some people who work in the restaurant -- on the 107th floor of the North Tower -- apparently made it down to the street," said Stuart Ho yesterday. "It's hard to say, but we're hopeful."

Laura Brough's mother, Georgine Rose Corrigan, had been returning to Hawaii Kai on United Airlines Flight 93 from Newark, N.J., when hijackers commandeered the plane and it crashed near Pittsburgh. Asking the media to refrain from contacting her, Brough put up a Web page remembering her mother.

"Georgine was a strong and loving mother, and we will miss her dearly," Brough wrote. "I've had a close relationship with her my entire life, and this will take a long time to heal.

"I know in my heart that during her final moments she was thinking of me and her two grandchildren, and that makes the pain a little more bearable," she wrote.

Corrigan was a well-known Honolulu antique and collectibles dealer.

As far as her last thoughts of her mother, Brough wrote, "My family and I believe that Flight 93 will be remembered as heroes for averting harm to others, and we wish everyone who has suffered our best wishes."

Aikahi Park resident and Outdoor Circle arborist Christine Snyder was on the same United flight and is remembered by some for the trees she saved. Hula's Bar & Lei Stand owner Jack Law recalled the 100-year-old banyan tree that was demolished with his old Kuhio Avenue bar three years ago.

"Christine was very sad about this," Law said. "The Outdoor Circle took the tree under its wing. They wanted to keep that tree alive."

Jude Larson, 31, and his wife, Natalie, were on American Airlines Flight 11, the first plane that crashed into the World Trade Center. They were en route to the University of California at Los Angeles, where he was attending college.

While the Larsons were not from Hawaii, his father, Curtis, is a Maui artist.

"My mind can't seem to get over this," Curtis Larson said. "The sadness is so intense. 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.

Star-Bulletin reporter Gary T. Kubota
contributed to this report.

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