Church executive recalls how 9/11 changed life for her family
Sept. 11, 2006
|A UMNS photo by Wendy Whiteside
Christine Lee talks about losing her younger sister, Nancy Yuen Ngo, in the World Trade Center attacks.
By Linda Bloom*
NEW YORK (UMNS) — Christine Lee was in her office at the United Methodist
Board of Global Ministries when she learned of the terrorist attack on the World
Life for her family has never been the same.
Lee’s sister, Nancy Yuen Ngo, was last seen
on the 95th floor of Tower 1, according to a 9/11 victims Web site. She was
old, with a husband
and two daughters, ages 2 and 6.
Although Lee believes the healing process has
begun, the last five years have been very difficult ?? for her
brother-in-law and nieces, her mother, her three other siblings and herself.
died the year before attack
Ngo, 12 years younger than Lee, held a degree
in electrical engineering and had moved to Harrington Park, N.J., where Lee
she had grown up in
New York’s Chinatown and still was involved in the Chinese United Methodist
|Photo by Chief Photographer's Mate Eric J. Tilford, U.S. Navy
An aerial view shows the remains of the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“ About two or three months before the terrorist attacks, she had accepted
a new job at the World Trade Center,” Lee recalls. “My mother was
caring for the kids while they both worked.”
Working as a network consultant for Marsh & McLennan, Ngo had to be at
work in the World Trade Center before 8 a.m. Prior to the Sept. 11 attack,
she had called her mother to tell her she was there. “That was the last
...” says Lee.
Of the 1,908 Marsh & McLennan employees who were working in or visiting
the company’s offices in the twin towers that day, 295 were killed. One
employee was a passenger on one of the hijacked planes. The company has a memorial
to its lost employees adjacent to its offices at 1166 Avenue of the Americas.
After the destruction of the towers, the family
went to hospitals in Manhattan, searching for Ngo. But, Lee admits, “By
then, your hope is gone.”
|A UMNS photo by John C. Goodwin
Nancy Yuen Ngo's name is inscribed on a wall honoring employees of Marsh & McLennan who died in the Sept. 11 attacks.
he months following the attack were “horrible,” she recalls.
Her oldest niece refused to attend her mother’s memorial service at Christ
United Methodist Church in Manhattan. Her brother-in-law, Nick Ngo, was devastated
and has never remarried. “He’d rather that he’d died instead
of her,” Lee says.
His parents and her mother pitched in to help with the girls, and the family
“My mother lost lots of weight,” Lee reports. “Later on,
she just couldn’t stay in the house anymore. She wanted to go back to
China.” Although her mother had moved to the United States 40 years earlier
and had few relatives in China, she started making trips back there.
Time has helped with the healing. Lee’s nieces, now 11 and 7 years old,
have become very attached to their father, who, in turn, is very protective
of them. “It’s just hard for the kids,” Lee says. “There
are pictures all over, but they can’t replace her.”
*Bloom is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in New York.
News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or email@example.com.