Remembering 9/11 - See-Wong Shum
I am remembering forty-four year old See-Wong Shum who worked for New York Metropolitan Transport Council, eighty-second floor, One World Trade Center (north building).
He is survived by his wife - Rebecca Shum, son - Leon Shum, and daughter - Chanel Shum.
See-Wong Shum seems to have been a deeply spiritual, dedicated, and very intelligent person; he spent endless hours in the public library researching texts on different religions and a week before the World Trade Center attacks he announced that he was converting to Buddhism.
Mr. Shum also seemed to always be seeking new adventures and ways to help other people. Raised in Hong Kong, He once held positions as a high school teacher, corrections officer and suicide hotline counselor.
During his free time, he backpacked through Europe, China, Israel, Peru, Egypt and Thailand.
It was in Thailand where he was first exposed to Buddhism and meditated in a temple for the first time.
Mr. Shum finally settled on a computer-related job, managing computer systems for New York Metropolitan Transportation Council. It is said that he rarely missed a day of work, only taking time off to tend to his wife or children if they were sick.
He reportedly answered phones amid the chaos of the September 11th attacks. His wife, Rebecca, did not get a chance to talk to him one last time. However, when she returned home that day after dropping their daughter off at nursery school, there was a message on the answering machine. There were no voices on the message, just the sound of wailing sirens in the background.
While I never knew Mr. Shum in this life, after learning about him I now feel a great loss. He seems like a man that I would liked to have spoken with and personally known. This has allowed me to put a face, a name, and a life to this day that had affected me so much that I felt compelled to re-join the military to do my part. See-Wong Shum you are missed.
I am honored to have participated in this remembrance of the victims of 9/11. Please take some time today to stop and think about See-Wong Shum, his family and the 2995 other victims who perished on September 11, 2001.