Friday, September 14, 2001

America Attacked

Victim’s dad urges
U.S. against revenge

Other families in Hawaii await
word of missing loved ones

By Gary T. Kubota and Rod Antone

Lahaina artist Curtis Larson, whose son and daughter-in-law died aboard the first airliner that crashed into the World Trade Center on Tuesday, said the United States should not take revenge against the terrorists.

"It's not going to bring my son back," said Larson, a former U.S. Marine who fought in Vietnam. "Where does it all stop?"

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.

At the same time, Larson said, he feels great sadness and sorrow for the families of victims, especially the hundreds of firefighters and police officers who died while trying to save the lives of people trapped in the rubble of the World Trade Center.

"My heart goes out to those people," he said.

Besides Larson's son Jude and his daughter-in-law Natalie, it was just learned that missing people with Hawaii ties include Michael Collins, who is married to 1977 Leilehua High School graduate Lissa Lee Collins.

Collins worked for Cantor Fitzgerald E-Speed on the 104th floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center. Like many others in the building at the time, Collins called home. He left a message saying a bomb may have gone off and "I'm getting out of here."

"That's the last we heard," said Lissa's mother Rose Lee, who has reservations to fly from Honolulu to New Jersey on Wednesday. Her husband, Henry, hopes to fly out Monday.

Her daughter, Lissa, is in Paris, also awaiting a flight home to New Jersey.

Lee said the family suspects Collins has perished. "We are definitely going to miss him," she said, describing him as "a lovely person, always smiling."

"Fortunately for us, Michael and Lissa were here in June for our granddaughter's graduation," Lee said. "We got to see them a couple months ago."

Rich Y.C. Lee, vice president for Cantor Fitzgerald, also is missing. The 1986 Punahou graduate called his wife after the first plane hit the World Trade Center, according to family members. Because Lee kept his wallet in his briefcase, family members said they are going from hospital to hospital checking for unidentified patients.

Another Punahou graduate, Heather Ho, worked as an executive chef on the 107th-floor restaurant at the top of the north tower. Despite reports that Ho has been found, family members said yesterday that she was still missing.

Also missing is 1993 Kaiser High School valedictorian Maile Hale. The Boston finance executive was attending a conference at the World Trade Center when it was attacked.

Kaiser High School Principal Gayle Sugita said some administrators who knew Hale planned to put together a vignette about Hale to air on the school's morning internal television broadcast today.

"We have been touched by this tragedy as I'm sure all schools have," Sugita said.

The vignette will be part of the school's planned participation in President Bush's call for a national day of mourning, although Sugita stressed that it is important for people to remember that Hale is only listed as missing and not confirmed among the dead.

Christine Snyder, an Outdoor Circle arborist from Aikahi, and Georgine Rose Corrigan, an antiques dealer from Hawaii Kai, both perished on United Airlines Flight 11, which crashed near Pittsburgh.

Memories of the loss are still fresh for people like Larson, who sifts through old family photographs. He picked out one of Jude in British Columbia, when he was only 14 months old, holding his first guitar.

"He wanted to be a guitar player," Larson recalled. "He wouldn't go to sleep without it for a month. I'm going to miss him so much."

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