Lives, dreams cut off by terror

Sun Journal

October 22, 2001

Say their names, remember their lives. They are emblematic of what it means to be an American, millionaires and the formerly homeless, immigrants yearning to build a new life, the young just starting out, the middle-aged at the height of their careers, city dwellers and suburbanites, people full of life and love.

They were in the World Trade Center or the Pentagon on Sept. 11. Now they are among the dead and missing. But they cannot be forgotten, because they are more, even, than individual, remarkable people. Here are a few of those names, provided by the New York Times News Service.

Zhanetta Tsoy was beginning a new life at 9 a.m. Sept. 11. It was Day 1 of a new job in a new country, a place where she and her husband believed their futures were as big and bright as the New York skyline. Fresh from Kazakstan, Ms. Tsoy, 32, could hardly believe she was about to go to work in one of the world's tallest buildings, as an accountant for Marsh & McLennan. Relatives wanted her husband and 4-year-old daughter to return to Kazakstan. But she was there, and so they remained.

Bryan C. Jack was a budget analyst for the Defense Department, and for days, friends thought he was missing in the ruins of the Pentagon. By a twist of fate, he was among the passengers aboard American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed at the place where Mr. Jack, on most days, would have been crunching numbers at his desk. Mr. Jack, 48 and described as a brilliant mathematician, was on his way to California on business.

Khamladai and Roshan Singh had to leave home early the day of the attack -- by 6:20 a.m. -- because their roles at a conference breakfast at Windows on the World restaurant were so crucial. Khamladai, 25, as an assistant banquet manager, would be greeting the participants at 8 a.m.; her brother, Roshan, 21, was arranging an audio-visual presentation. Preparations for the 600 guests had to be flawless. They left the family home in Woodhaven, Queens, together as usual, caught the A train and arrived by 7 a.m. After working all day, Khamladai studied computer programming at Borough of Manhattan Community College. Roshan was in the Army National Guard.

Richard A. Penny loved to work, even during the 10 years he was homeless. When he slept on a cot in a Harlem shelter or dozed upright near Grand Central Terminal, he still rose to polish the brass at St. James' Church, scrub floors or sweep city streets. Three years ago, he found a steady job in the World Trade Center recycling program, now run by Project Renewal, and rented a room in Brooklyn. Mr. Penny told his story as a fall from grace. He was the 1966 valedictorian of Metropolitan High School; heroin and a 1975 robbery conviction swept it all away. The hard climb from homelessness led to the upper floors of the twin towers, where he was collecting paper Sept. 11.

James Audiffred was nutty about lighthouses. But not just any lighthouses. Again and again, he was drawn to the lighthouses of Maine. He studied their history and their architecture. In July, he packed his wife, his son and his sister-in-law's family into a rented minivan and took them to see the Cape Elizabeth Light, a 67-foot lighthouse south of Portland. With childlike delight, he made everybody pose for pictures. Mr. Audiffred, 38, was a World Trade Center elevator operator from Brooklyn.

Elsy C. Osorio-Oliva was 27, the eldest sibling in her Flushing, Queens, household, but she acted like a mother hen. She doted on her younger brother and sister -- Kate and Anthony Umanzor, 10 and 8 -- with whom she lived, along with her mother and stepfather. And she doted on her mother, Feliciana Oliva-Umanzor, who left college and a war-ravaged El Salvador in 1983 for a new living cleaning apartments in the United States. Ms. Osorio-Oliva was a junior translation engineer with General Telecom on the 83rd floor of 1 World Trade Center.

Alisha Levin lived alone in her apartment and loved New York -- the lifestyle, the rhythms of the city. She loved her job as vice president for human resources at Fuji Bank. She loved working at the World Trade Center and looking out the windows on a clear day. Every other week, Ms. Levin, 33, would go home to Philadelphia to spend time with her parents, her sister and her nephews.

Katie McGarry Noack could turn strangers into acquaintances and acquaintances into friends. Mrs. Noack, 30, would go to school meetings with her sister and autistic godchild, and on the spur of the moment, drive 45 minutes at night to comfort a grieving friend. She was married only six months and had worked at Telekars USA only six weeks. She was at a breakfast meeting at Windows on the World on Sept. 11.

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