Seeking Political Stability
In 1958, Neil K. Lai left Shanghai by himself at the age of 16. His father was dead, and his mother wanted Neil to flee for security to Hong Kong. Their family had been turned upside down by the Communist Party rule that started in 1949. Mr. Lai’s father, a former factory owner, had been branded a capitalist. Neil Lai worked for two years in his uncle’s tailor shop in Hong Kong before attending night school. He learned English, which landed him a series of relatively well- paying jobs through the mid-1970’s. But the sight of Vietnamese boat refugees in the waters around Hong Kong made him realize that the Asian political situation was unstable. So at the age of 34, he came to the United States to study at a community college in Arizona. He transferred to Arizona State University, where he studied accounting a skill that eventually led to his job at the New York State Office of Taxation and Finance. Mr. Lai wanted his two teenage children to maintain straight A’s in school. “His experience had told him education is a path to success,” said his wife, Yvonne.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 13, 2001.
The day is upon us again today. Let us take time from our daily routine to remember out brothers and sisters that left us on this day. I remember Neil.
The tenth anniversary is upon us, though to me it seems like yesterday that we lost nearly 3,000 people on that day and Neil was one of them. I never knew Neil, but I think about him every year around this time.
I don’t blog much these days due to my current employment situation and employee regulations on personal blogs of political nature, but I will try my hardest to continue to make Neil’s post every year.
Neil has been gone 8 years now. It’s hard to believe that so many years have passed, it seems some have forgotten the horror from that day. Neil is in a better place, a place where religious zealots and extremist are non-existent. Neil - I hope one day we can meet and have a beer somewhere far away from this crazy place, somewhere where are people are kind to one another.
Neil has been gone for many years now. We as well as his family will always remember him. We will continue to fight against the Islamic Radicals that took his life until the day we meet up with Neil far away from this world.