9/11 victim Jupiter Yambem remembered

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Manipur, IMPHAL, September 11: The 12th Memorial ceremony of Jupiter Yambem who was killed in the Al-Qaida attack on the World Trade Center in New York on this day in 2001 was held at the Jupiter Yambem Center in his hometown of Imphal this afternoon.

Jupiter was amongst the odd three thousand people who perished in that attack and was the first Indian fatality whose body was recovered way back in 2001.

Jupiter Yambem’s brother Laba, speaking on the occasion on Tuesday.

He was then working as a Senior Manager in the world’s tallest restaurant the Windows on the World located at the 107th floor of the North Tower of the WTC. About 50 friends, relatives and well-wishers gathered in today’s memorial service.

He was the younger brother of former Manipur Human Rights Commission Member and noted journalist of the State Yambem Laba.

After an introductory short speech by Yambem Laba  a two minutes silence was observed as mark of respect to the departed soul and this was followed by  an all faith prayer meeting which was led by Father P.X. Francis SDB of Don Bosco, Imphal.

Speaking on the occasion, Pradip Phanjoubam, Editor of the Imphal Free Press and Jupiter’s childhood friend said that he remembers Jupiter as a fighter with a never say die spirit and a person  who never gave up.

Prominient social activist RK Ranendrajit who is Jupiter’s American wife Nancy’s god-father said that it was most unfortunate to lose such a talented person like Jupiter in the prime of his life.

Another of Jupiter’s friend Ranjana Manorharmayum said that it is an emotional event every year and said that while he has become part of the World’s statistics it is good that we remember him here at Imphal where he was born.

Former IGP of Manipur Th Karunamaya  Singh IPS (Retd) recalled his recent visit to ground  to ground zero in New York and informed the gathering that Jupiter’s name is embossed on the memorial plague there on the north tower site bearing number 79.

All remembered him as a pioneer in his own right having gone to America without any professional degree but had worked his way through to fund his own college education and began his career in the hospitality industry and his clientele  included the late Elizabeth Taylor to Hillary Clinton besides the top honchos of New York’s corporate world.

He also founded the North American Manipuri Association which is the first association of the new generation Manipuri Diaspora who had settled overseas.

Today hundreds of Manipuris have followed his path and are employed in various sectors in the USA and elsewhere abroad.

The Jupiter Yambem Center was established by his family here in Imphal and inaugurated by his wife Nancy and son Chinglailakpa in 2002.The Center was set up to provide a cultural continuity amongst Manipuris settled in America and elsewhere with their roots and also provides information to Manipuris seeking passage to the USA.

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