9/11 Attacks : Jupiter Yambem’s Family Remember Their New Yorker Son

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Posted in Featured, Manipur, Northeast


  • NET Web Desk

The dastardly attacks of the September 11, 2001 attack that left nearly 3,000 people dead in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania sent shockwaves around the world as the world watched in horror.

The painful repercussions of the attack reached the Northeast as well.

On the morning of 9/11, Jupiter Yambem of Manipur, a banquet manager was in charge of a breakfast meeting of a tech conference in one of the fallen World Trade Centres.

Jupiter’s brother sitting in front of the TV screen in Manipur watched in horror as channels started playing visuals of two planes crashing into the twin towers of the World Trade Centre (WTC).

Jupiter then was on the 107th floor of the North Tower. The distraught brother, Laba called up Jupiter in the USA. But the phone kept on ringing and by then everything had changed.

They found his body four days later, but decades later the wounds inflicted on that fateful day still haunts the Yambem family.

Every year, the Yambem family marks the anniversary of the 9/11 attack with Manipuri rituals and a feast.

But amid the pandemic, this year’s event will be a low-key gathering with only family members.

The youngest of five brothers, Jupiter Yambem studied German at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

In 1981, he got selected as a counsellor for an outdoor camp in Vermont, United States, for children with impaired vision.

Since then, Yambem never returned, he started working at a restaurant by taking up some odd jobs.

He went to the State University of New York, studying Economics, and after graduation, Jupiter returned to his old restaurant as its manager.

In 1991, Yambem married an American, Nancy McCardle.

They had a traditional Manipuri wedding, attended by the Yambem family.

Over time, he also became close friends with American folk singer Pete Seeger.

According to Laba Yambem, Despite achieving the American dream, Jupiter remained a proud Indian and Manipuri, who never gave up his Indian passport.

The 9/11 attacks were carried out by 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al Qaeda, who hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against selected targets in the United States.

Two of the planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City.

A third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C. While, the fourth plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

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