Tuyet A Tran

May 2, 2002

September 4, 2011
I am privileged to have connected with Here Is New York organization and met some of the lovely people who worked in this project. I’m especially touched and honored that Ms. Ruth Sergel has reached out to me on the 10th anniversary. Here Is New York project speaks volume about the character of the very special and creative New Yorkers who have spent an enormous amount of time to document, compile, organize, and maintain a valuable and important chapter of the New York and American history. I think the American public and history owe these wonderful individuals a debt of gratitude and should continue to support the project through donations.

Personally, I am deeply appreciative of the individuals who have created Here is New York and for the unique opportunity to participate with my photo and narrative. I’m glad that amid a smoky neighborhood, I went through the doors of that small gallery on Prince Street and met some of nicest people. It was cathartic for me to be connected with others through their photos.

Over the years, I don’t discuss 9/11 with anyone except my loved ones, but I’ve listened to many who have recalled their activities or experiences on that day. To date, hardly anyone whom I’ve met after 9/11/01 knows about those pages of my life.

After the first few years, the tears are no longer free flowing whenever I’ve watched some parts of the annual commemoration on television.

If I may add that I am appalled and saddened that some Americans have exploited and used 9/11 for their gains, when they were no where near the city, let alone being a New Yorker seeing the horrors on that day. To me, bigotry and hate do not have any place in our diverse society. I write as a minority American woman who knows the ugliness of bigotry. The America that I know and love is the America that came together shortly after the tragedy occurred in New York, Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon.

Thank you for this opportunity to update and reconnect with Here Is New York.

Warmest Regards,
- Tuyet

  • danielet

    Ah Tuyet, I accidentally, while surfing the Net, came across your video and it seems so horrible to me that we should also have in common the 9/11 experience. I was on crutches going to the WTC Borders’ Bookstore when the horror began with the first plane hitting the first building. The rest was a nightmare that I never though you and I would share. It has been a horror that we both relive over and over again to this day, it’s 11th anniversary. The sense of helplessness I felt then and again later on 19th March 2003, when GW Bush dragged the nation into yet another war, pointlessly repeating the imbecilic horrors of the Vietnam War on the ground. For me, it extended my desperate sense of powerlessness from the 60s to now in saving victims from another era of criminal negligence, when a history-blind nation repeats old errors as predicted by Santayana: THOSE WHO DO NOT LEARN FROM HISTORY ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT IT. I so regret that your soul has to be burdened and scared with your side-liner experience on 9/11 added to the horror of your experience with the fall of Saigon, to forever invokes a sense of helplessness witness in the face of forever torturing yourself by asking yourself if there’s more that you could have done; no doubt that you wondered: why did I, once again, survive when so many didn’t? I hope the gentle beauty– which your face radiates in this your video– suffers no deep and disabling permanent scars, making these horrid experiences an endless haunting of your soul. I was told by your sister that 9/11 is all consuming for you. I hope you attain some peace and comfort amongst your fellow survivors and those who love and cherish you. I can only feel deep empathy for how tumultuous was your life since the fall of Saigon. The events that scar modern people’s souls seem to go on slashing ever more, testing the wondrous and delicate sense of the greater beauty that is in your life and your art despite your indelible will’s searching meaning in that very chaos that imposes hopelessness in those of us who were not bestowed with your musical art’s calming power. Remain as beautiful as you are, serving as monument to the indelible will of us all not to surrender to hopelessness and despair.