In 1970, Japanese American architect Minoru Yamasaki started work on the World Trade Center with his associate Emery Roth. It was completed six years later. The twin towers, with 110 floors rising 1,353 feet, was, at the time, the tallest man-made structure in the world. From observation decks at the top of the towers it was possible to see 45 miles in every direction.

Upon its completion, Yamasaki was asked what the Twin Towers meant to him. This is how he responded:

“World trade means world peace and consequently the World Trade Center buildings in New York have a bigger purpose than just to provide room for tenants. The World Trade Center is a living symbol of man’s dedication to world peace. Beyond the compelling need to make this a monument to world peace, the World Trade Center should, because of its importance, become a representation of man’s belief in humanity, his need for individual dignity, his beliefs in the cooperation of men, and through cooperation, his ability to find greatness.”

Minoru Yamasaki passed away on February 7, 1986 at the age of 73 after a battle with cancer. He did not live to see what he considered to be his life’s masterwork—his “monument to world peace”– crumble to the ground after being struck by two hijacked planes.

Minoru Yamasaki
Minoru Yamasaki

When the Twin Towers fell on Sept. 11, 2001, two-thousand seven hundred and forty three men, women and children perished in the worst terrorist attack in our nation’s history. 184 of the victims (6.7 percent) were people of Asian descent:

Alok Agarwal, Mukul Agarwala, Shabir Ahmed, Grace Alegre-Cua, Ceasar A. Alviar, Tariq Amanullah, Kazuhiro Amai, Sien Nya Ang, Seina “David” Aoyama, Michael S. Baksh, Renee Barrett-Arjume, Marlyn C. Bautista, Anil T. Bharvaney, Bella Bhukhan, Cecile M. Caguicla, Swarna Chalasani, Mandy Chang, Alexander H. Chiang, Robert Chin, “Eddie” Wing Wai Ching, Kyung Casey Cho, Abul K. Chowdhury, Mohammed Salahuddin Chowdhury, Pamela Chu, Wai-Ching Chung, Annette Andrea Dataran, Simon Saleman Ali Kassanali Dhanani, Doris Suk-Yuen Eng, Syed Abdul Fatha, Chih Min “Dennis” Foo, Ronald Gamboa, Kum-Kun Girolamo, Kiran Reddy Gopu, Yuji Gouya Ramon Grijalvo, Liming Michael Gu, Yan Z. “Cindy” Guam, Nezan A. Hafiz, Mohammed Salman Hamdani, Frederic Kim Han, Eric Samadikan Hartono, Nobuhiro Hayatsu, Katsuyuki Hirai, Heather Malia Ho, Susan Huie, Taizo Ishikawa, Kazushige Ito, Ricknauth Jaggernauth, Yudh V. Jain, Prem N. Jerath, Hwerdar Jian, Shashi Kiran Kadaba, Joon Koo Kang, Hideya Kawauchi, Sarah Khan, Taimour Firaz Khan, Rajesh Khandelwar, Bhowanie Devi Khemaraj, Sei-Lai Khoo, Satoshi Kikuchihara, Andrew Jay-Hoon Kim, Lawrence Don Kim, Sue Kim-Hanson, Takashi Kinoshita, Bon-Seok Ko, Toshiya Kuge, Shekhar Kumar, Frederick Koo Jr., Nauka Kushitani, Kui “Rapod” Fai Kwoh, Amarnauth Lachman, Ganesh Ladhat, Neil K. Lai, Vinod Lakham, Chow Kwan Lan, Dong Lee, David S. Lee, Hyun-Joo Paul Lee, Linda C. Lee, Myung-Woo Lee, Richard Yun Choo Lee, Soo-Jin Stuart Lee, Yang Der Lee, Ye Wei Liang, Orasri Liangthanasam, Arnold A. Lim, Darya Lin, Wei Rong Lin, Ming-Hao Liu, Manuel L. Lopez, Stuart Louis, William Lum Jr., Takashi Makimoto, Bernard Mascarenhas, Joseph Mathai, Alok Kumar Mehta, Nurul Huq Miah, Shakila Yasmin Miah, Rajesh Mirpuri, Krishna Moorthy, Sanae Mori, Takuya Nakamura, Manika Narula, Narender Nath, Nancy Yuen Ngo, Soichi Nimata, Takashi Ogawa, Toshihiro Onda, Betty Ann Ong, Masaru Ose, Michael Chung Ow, Spc. Chi Sun Pak, Deepa K. Pakkala, Vinod K. Parakat, Nitin Parandkar, Vijayashanher Parasmothy, Haidai Casey Parbhu, Gye-Hyong Park, Hasmukh Chuckula Parmar, Avnish Ramanbhai Patel, Dipti Patel, Manish K. Patel, Carl Allen Peralta, Tu-Ahn Pham, Hermanth Puttur, Ehtesham V. Raja, Vaksa Raju, Vishnov Ramsaroop, Deborah Ramsaur, Srinivas Shreyas Ranganath, Amenia Rasool, Christina Sunga Ryooh, Rahma Salie, Rema Sam-Dimnoo, Maria Theresa Santillan, Kalayan K. Sarkar, Deepika K. Sattahiri, Jayesh Shah, Khalid M. Shahid, Mohammed Shajahan, Shiv Shankar, Neil S. Shastri, Atsushi Shiratori, See-Wong Shum, Masima Hameed Simjee, Khamladai K. Singh, Roshan R. Singh, Astrid Sohan, Sushil Solanki, Daniel W. Song, Saranya Srinuam, Yoichi Sugiyama, Marc David Sullius, Larry Sumaya, Keiichiro Takahashi, Keiji Takahashi, Robert R. Talhami, Maurita Tam, Hector Tamayo, Kenichiro Tanaka, Yeshwant M. Tembe, Goumatie T. Thakurdeen, Haishad Sham Thatte, Mary Ellen Tiesi, Zhanetta Tsoy, Ching Ping Tung, Anil Shivhari Umarkai, Pendyala Vamsikrishna, Gopalakrishnan Varadhan, Samhara S. Velamuri, Ching Hui Wang, Wei Bin Wang, Ssu-Hui Vanessa Wen, Cynthia Motus Wilson, Jennifer Y. Wong, Jenny Seu Keung Low Wong, Siu Cheng Wong, Yin Ping Wong, Yuk Ping Wong, Jupiter Yambem, Suresh Yanamada, Elkin Yuen, Zhe Zack Zeng, Jie Yao Justin Zhao, Ahmed Jahan Zia

The following photo is of a mural honoring Betty Ann Ong, a Chinese American flight attendant who was aboard American Airlines Flight 11 on Sept. 11, 2001. At 8:19 AM, Ong called the American Airlines Reservations Office from the plane to report a hijacking was in process. For 25 minutes, Ong stayed on the line and calmly relayed important information to operators.



  1. Wow, this has opened my eyes more than the 9/11 Commission Report. Thanks.

  2. Where is that mural of Ong located? The, unfortunately, graffiti-covered one.

  3. The mural is in Ong’s hometown of San Francisco. Here’s an article about the problems they’ve been having with taggers:


  4. wow, that was an awesome post. thanks!

  5. Hey Phil, I just sort of stumbled upon the fact that this is you writing this. Thanks man for this, I actually was there… it’s sort of rough for me dawg…Today. I worked at the Bank of New York, which is on 101 Barclay St(yeah, that’s right there…..yeah, I know…). I used to go chill in the mall in the basement of the World Trade with my co-workers. My boy Mike took me to my first topless bar in the Financial District during lunch break. He’s a born comedian. That dude actually showed me smooth thru his comedy routine. Anyhow, then we thought that was sort of wrong if our girlfriends found out(we rolled about 6 deep in our crew), so we frequented more often the bikini bar on Nassau. Anyhow, I got this girl I was dating at the time(we worked together at the bank), coming to visit me next month. She and I fell in love just before this incident, and shared the same hotel room that BONY gave us for working in Pleasantville NY(their emergency facility) for the 4 months aftermath, where we made our love known to each other, biblically speaken, of course. And the girl at the time I was dating and living with, didn’t understand what had happened to me b/c I was living 5 days of the week upstate, instead of with her in the LES. Anyhow, all in all, I’m with neither one of them now, which is best, but this day sort of means something to me for the girl who’s coming to see me in Oct., cuz I ran back that day when the towers were falling(she lost it while we were running outta of our building – {Google Map 101 Barclay, its right there}), and picked up her shoe admist the cloud and smoke, b/c I really wanted her to make it with me… and I knew she would feel more comfortable with it, not that she can’t run in high heels, but b/c that her future would be brighter knowing she didn’t leave anything behind that day.

    Anyhow…. you joke with me about entertaining senior citizens… and I tell you, “yeah, where the silver foxes at?” But let me tell you bro, I look forward to seeing my girl after all these years. It feels good.

    Peace. One.

    oh yeah, to anyone else reading this, cuz Phil, I’m sure you got some readers… this story is all fake, so cool…

  6. Thank you for including my father’s name on your list. This day is always tough and it means a lot to me to see his name here and to know that he is remembered.

  7. late prem jerath was my uncle and i’m proud of him as he died by saving another victim.

    may god bless his holy spirit with peace.

  8. We are a Buddhist base, volunteer-led charity organization. We are located at Flushing. It is called TZU CHI. It means “compassion and relief.” Our organization provides family services, humanitarian aid, spiritual care and medical services to families and communities locally and internationally. You can find more information about us on our website, http://www.us.tzuchi.org.
    After the 911, Tzu Chi volunteers from the region delivered ice water to relief workers at Ground Zero. During the weeks after the disaster, Tzu Chi volunteers established relief stations at Pier 94 and Liberty State Park and distributed nearly $2 million dollars in cash to over 3000 families of the 9/11 victims.

    Currently, we are making a short documentary of 9/11 Tenth Commemoration. It will focus on the impact of the 9/11 on American society by emphasizing the diverse array of perspectives from the victims of 9/11. Our objective is to show how the community has overcome the trauma and healed the wounds caused by the significant event. We are creating a message of compassion and hope.

    If you want to share your experience regarding to 9/11 with us or if you know anyone who might interested in our project, please let us know. You can contact me on this number 646-3018556. 718-8866374, email: [email protected].

    Thank you so much.
    A Chou Tuo Chieh/Nudup Dorjee