Khamladai K. "Khami" Singh
It’s been eight years now since the hijacking of American Airlines Flights 11 & 77 and United Airlines 93 & 175. Each year we pause to reflect on what happened on 9/11/01. Some of us think about how our country and government have changed and some think about the 2,996 victims of the horrendous terrorist attack on our soil. 2,996. How many victims was it really? Was it just the unlucky people who were living out there lives and just happened to be on those flights, in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon?
My father was at work in Crystal City that day at WorldCom, right across the street from the Pentagon. I know that had to have just scared the living daylights out of my mom to just think about. In 2001 they were still living in Arlington and while the terrorist threat was just sort of surreal out here in Cowtown GA, up there it was very real as well as in New York City.
In 2001 my daughter, who will be seven in December, was not even born. My oldest daughter was four. Neither of them will ever remember what the world was like on September 10th and how things changed. My son knows. He’s been in the Marine Corps for just over two years now. He was twelve when the attacks occurred and yet, he’s still in the Marine Corps. Now even more important than it was prior to 2001.
Back in 2006 I participated in what’s called the 2,996 Project. 2,996 is a series of tributes to all of the people who died as a result of the attacks of 9/11. Short, long, well-written, clumsy, artful, tear-jerking, terrible. Whatever. It was a very eclectic group of blog posts all across the Internet but there was one mission in mind. Remember the victims of 9/11. At that time I wrote this piece on Brendan Dolan. It moved me to participate in this project and I am very happy that I did. Undoubtedly the last two years I found myself inundated at work and haven’t participated since, at least until this year when I found an invitation to participate in my email inbox.
I gladly signed up and was assigned a name. Khamladai K. “Khami” Singh. The days have rolled by and time I should have spent researching I worked, both here and at my real job and with Labor Day and my employees having vacations I’ve just finished a ten day stretch at work when I woke up this morning and realized what day it was. So this is my hurried entry for the 2,996 project. It is what it is.
Most of the time I spend writing about criminals and alleged criminals as well as their acts and their victims and there is no more horrific crime in recent history in the United States than the murder of 2,996 innocent victims from that day. Among those victims was 25-year-old Khamladai Singh from Woodhaven, Queens. Khamladai and her 21-year-old brother Roshan worked at Windows on the World.
Windows on the World was a restaurant and bar the operated on the top floors of the north tower of the World Trade Center. According to Wikipedia the restaurant was hosting their regular breakfast patrons as well as the Waters Financial Technology Congress. All total there were 73 staff members and 92 guests in the restaurant at the time that AA Flight 11 hit the north tower and it’s believed that most of the people there perished immediately. The ones that didn’t had no chance at all and died when the tower collapsed.
Khamladai was an assistant banquet manager and had to be there to greet the conference attendees at 8 AM so she and her brother were at work by 7 AM that morning. It’s pretty sure that she was doing what she did best, staying busy making sure that her customers were content, when the plane hit at 8:46 that morning.
Khamladai was also trying to be more, though. After work she was studying computer programming full time at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Her younger brother kept busy as well. In addition to working with Khamladai at Windows, he was in the Army National Guard. Undoubtedly their mother and step-father are thinking about them right now, as they do every day.
There isn’t much information to be found about Khami Singh on the Internet today. A search turns up literally thousands of links but they are mainly just lists of the dead. Google shows 2,790 of them right now. Almost as many lists of remembrance as there were dead. That in itself says something, I just haven’t decided what yet.
There are guest books online for many of the victims of that tragic day and Khami is no different. This one has fifty different entries from people that knew Khami. Friends, family and babysitters. All different but all effected by her death as well as that of the other 2,995. I couldn’t say anything to Khami, Roshan or their family that would be more heartfelt than what those people shared.
This is the first time I’ve been on the Internet today. Perhaps that’s my way of remembering. In the few minutes that my RSS reader has been downloading feeds and Outlook has been getting email headers I’ve seen more tributes to victims, headlines like “9/11 puts things in perspective for Americans”, “A day of service” etc…ad nauseum.
I’ve got a perspective too.
Sometimes there are people that care so little for human life, whether it be there own people or others that they have never or will never meet, that they should be exterminated before they have the chance to hurt anyone. Call them child molesters, terrorists, mass murderers. They are one and the same. A monster of a different shape is still a monster.
It is what it is.