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Reflection: SEIU Remembers September 11, 2001


On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, 62 SEIU members were killed when hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in rural Pennsylvania.

9 11 Image

As our nation today marks the 17th anniversary of the tragic 9/11 attacks on our country, we honor the memory of SEIU members and others who lost their lives on that September morning 17 years ago. 


On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, 62 SEIU members were killed when hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in rural Pennsylvania.

On the anniversary of this tragedy, we remember their heroism not only on that day but in their daily lives. Please read the short yet powerful biographies of these 62 people — as seen through the eyes of their friends, relatives, and co-workers.

Let’s take a moment to remember them in all their humanity. They ranged in age from a mere 23 to a 74-year-old retiree who went back to work because he loved what he did. They carried out their daily work with great pride and gave tirelessly to their families and communities. Several of them were shining examples of heroism. 

  • We remember the many members of SEIU 32BJ, ranging from security guards and janitors to elevator operators and window cleaners.  We honor the memory of the security guard, Roko Comaj, who was a hero for his quick response in the first attack on the twin towers back in 1993.     
  • We remember many members of the Public Employees Federation of New York, who worked in the State Department of Tax and Finance, including those who brought white collar criminals to justice.  We honor the memory of the tax staffer, Rose Riso, who took her volunteer role as a fire warden so seriously that it’s estimated she saved from about 40 to nearly 200 lives on 9/11. 
  • We remember the members of 1199NE who served on fire departments and paramedic squads.  We honor the memory of the paramedic, David Marc Sullins, who made three trips to the hospital before a tower collapsed on him. 
  • And we remember the Massachusetts 509 member, Christopher Carstanjen, who was on a flight out of Boston, heading on a well-deserved vacation that instead abruptly ended in disaster.   

Many of the SEIU members we lost had come to the United States in pursuit of the American Dream from all over the world:  Albania, China, Columbia, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Italy, Nigeria and Syria.  

Ignatius Adanga
Jeremiah Ahern
Godwin Ajala
Ernest Alikakos
Angelo Amaranto
Yaphet Aryee
James Audiffred
Steven Berger
Christopher Blackwell
Larry Bowman
Roko Camaj
Christopher Carstanjen
Eli Chalouh
Denease Conley
Francisco Cruz Sr.
Simon Dedvukaj
James Joseph Domanico
Benilda Domingo
Sareve Dukat
Samuel Fields
Clyde Frazier Jr.
Ervin Gailliard
Jorge Luis Morron Garcia
Mon Gjonbalaj
Dianne Gladstone
Yan Z. (Cindy) Guan
Neil Lai
Chow Kwam Lam
Leon Lebor
Hyun-joon (Paul) Lee
Myung-woo Lee
Stephen Lefkowitz
Charles Lesperance
Daniel Lugo
Anthony Luparello
Robert Martinez
Tyrone May
Robert Miller
Richard Miuccio
Manuel Molina
Jorge Morron
Oscar Nesbitt
Sonia Ortiz
Michael Ou
Salvatore Papasso
Diane Moore Parsons
Dennis J. Pierce
Vishnoo Ramsaroop
Gerard Rauzi
Rose Riso
Esmerlin Salcedo
Jon Schlissel
See-Wong Shum
Barry Simowitz
Fabian Soto
David Marc Sullins
Yesh Tembe
Vanavah Thompson
Diane Urban
Sankara Velamuri
John White
Yuk-Pink “Winnie” Wong