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  Joon Koo Kang

Date of Birth: January 1, 1967
Department: eSpeed
Position: Equity System Analyst

I would have never imagined that I would give a eulogy at my age for someone so close. I am here to represent a family that has never thought such tremendous pain and sorrow could come our way. We have asked God many times why He did not spare our brother Joon Koo on the tragic morning of Sept. 11th. We wondered why he was not one of the twenty some odd people who got laid off that Monday from Cantor Fitzgerald or why he went into work that Tuesday when he was sick recovering from a flu. My second sister Janet and I wondered why it wasn’t one of us since we are not married yet and do not have children. Then his wife Dohee would not be without a husband nor his two children, Ariel and Diane, be fatherless. Who can understand the pain that our grandparents are experiencing through the loss of their first grandson, whom they’ve raised for seven years of his life or for our parents who’ve lost their only son who would have carried on the Kang family lineage. It is at a time like this that we would have needed our brother the most.
Being the oldest child in our family, our brother took on the responsibility of disciplining us and making sure his three younger sisters, Rebecca, Janet and I were on the right track while our parents worked. When we first came to America twenty years ago, he made us memorize about 20 words a day and he actually tested us regularly. Myself, only being 9 at the time started out with the alphabet. I think I failed the first couple of tests. Once he received Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and became a Christian, he took Rebecca to a church revival where she also got saved. He acted tough on the outside, but he was a deeply caring person.
He was very modest as well, I never knew he had close to 800 on Math SAT or that he got into an Ivy League until someone else told me years later. He was keen on not worrying our parents; he didn’t want to burden them financially or emotionally. He couldn’t wait for the day when he would take care of our parents and grandparents to this satisfaction. He wanted to be the one to provide our dad’s dream car. He never really bought anything for himself, he always tried to put others first.
For those of you who have know our brother Joon Koo know that he is not a man of many words but that his action spoke loud and clear. He had a laughter that was contagious and a heart that could not be contained. He past coworker wrote of our brother being a true gentleman and as genuine a person as he has ever met. Our brother was very responsible and hard working. He was continuously studying something whether it was for actuary, securities or a computer license. Once he started working in the eSpeed unit at Cantor Fitzgerald, he got up at 5 every morning and commuted one and a half hours to get to work by 7 am. He gave his all and he was quickly promoted to a managerial position. He enjoyed the challenges his work offered and was excited about eh system project he was working on.
Our brother deeply loved God and tried to reflect Christ in his life. He was a devout man who started and ended his workday with the Lord. He named his first child Ariel, which means the heart of God and second daughter, Diane, which means divine. He wanted them to reflect God. He taught junior high school students at his church. He also led a fellowship group that increased in its size from four families to over 20 families. It is clear that God used him and is still using him for His purpose and glory.
God asked for the best from our family, our pillar. He took our brother not to deprive us, but to provide the best for our brother and to bless us more. God must have known of my brother’s love for Him that He wanted our brother by his side sooner. Some of you may have read the email about the lady we met at the family tour of the World Trade Center. Kathleen had lost her 4-year-old daughter and her parents in law during the Oklahoma City bombing. She told us how she could imagine her daughter, Ashley, telling our brother “look, my mom has been made strong to help your mom now. Your mom will be made strong to help others in need later on.” We believe that God will continue to work in our lives and use us to be a blessing to others. We are also comforted by the promise that God will be “a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows.”
Joon Koo oppa, we never told you that we loved you or how we looked up to you because you know such affections are more understood than said in our family. You are an inspiration to us. Part of who we are today is because of the role you played in our lives. You taught us to be responsible in all aspects of life. We are sorry that we didn’t get a chance to say goodbye but we know that that would have been only a temporary one. Thank you for living your life to the fullest. If we can only mirror the way you walked with the Lord and put others first, we would not have any regrets. And when the tears flow when we are in bed at night, we will try to remember that we will see you again soon. But for now, we will miss you very, very much.

Rebecca, Janet, and Jamie, Sisters
  • I did not know Joon, but when I read this touching tribute I had to write.
    To his family and friends, it brought great joy to me to know that Joon is a child of God and that morning when he reached to turn that computer on or was just starting another workday, please be assured that he reached out and God took his hand led him to glory. Praise God! It may hurt right now and your hearts may be broken, but be strong and remember the gift of love he gave you all. So live by the his example and surely you will see him again one day.

    God Bless

    Christian Friend, A Sister in Christ
  • Our talent agency has chosen Cantor Fitzgerald this year as it’s charity for our anuual Christmas ball. Sometimes you don’t know why but are lead to do so. After reading your tribute, it has all become clear. God was leading for us here in Canada to do our small part to help those who will be forced to re-invent their lives. Not by choice but by circumstance. As MC of our evening, it’s going to be my pleasure to read out your tribute to the more than 500 people that will be attending. May Joon’s life, be an inspiration to those who never knew him and may God be honoured. And may our little offering be in some small way matched with many other ‘silent angels’ all over North America to accomplish nothing short of the miraculous for all of the families of Cantor Fitzgerald.

    God Bless with love from Canada.

    Kristina, a long distance prayer to your family
  • I worked with Joon at SDI in Greenwich. Joon was a man whose talents were clearly not being utilized, and I was so happy for him when he got the job at Cantor. My partner Mariann and I used to try to make him laugh, but he was always so serious, studying or furiously writing something. Rest well, Joon.

    Suzanne Heaney, Former co-worker
  • I first met Joon when he decided to enter the securities business as an investment broker. Ironically, when he interviewed, they asked him to sit with me to see what happens during the course of a day. The first thing I noticed about Joon was that he was a bright and determined man! As time passed, I remember Joon being one of the last to leave each night, often researching investments and discussing strategies. Joon and I formed a friendship working some of those evenings together and it continued even after he left our firm. I read what his sister had written about him, how dedicated he was and how caring he was. This was most certainly true! Joon had asked me to manage his clients accounts when he left our firm. To my suprise, he would constantly check up on them and contact them to make sure everything was ok when he had no vested interest financially. This was something that truly impressed me and left a very strong impression as to the type of man Joon was. I had a conversation with Joon sometime in July of this year and we discussed how big his daughters were getting. Even though Joon was quite quiet when it came to discussing his personal achievements/satisfaction, I could tell how truly happy he was with his life. He was definately proud of his job at Cantor and I was happy for him. People like Joon, who do so many positive things with their lives, should not be forgotten.

    God bless the Kang family

    Philip Grella, former Co-Worker/Friend
  • I am the relative of a Cantor victim. I think you should know that you are not alone. I can’t remember how many times a day since September 11 that I asked God why he couldn’t spear my 29 year old cousin. My question goes un-answered but I believe in Jesus and I know my cousin along with the other victaims are in a peace that we can’t fathom. For them, we must find the strength to go on, to spread the joy they had and make sure our children hear the tails of their loved one so that they will always be alive in our hearts. Although we can never forget them we WILL see them again when we are all united with Christ.

    FP, Relative of Grace Galante
  • I never had the privilege of meeting Joon, but I’ve had the opportunity to talk with Janet and now read her tribute to her dear brother. Thank you, Janet, for sharing your thoughts and feelings about your brother with us. Please know that so many of us have you, his wife and children and the rest ofyour family are in so many people’s prayers.

    While I cannot answer your question as to why Joon had to leave us so soon (and that is such a hard question), I am truly moved by reading about his heart for God, his caring love of your family and his actions that have touched so many lives. At the very least, I am re-reminded of the truly important things in life — especially the importance of living each day fully for our God, who does love us more deeply than we can ever imagine and who has given us His only Son so that we can join those whom have gone before us.

    Thank you again for your tribute. God bless to you all, especially during this holiday season. May your hearts be lifted by knowing that it was through the coming of our Savior that we have the promise — the actual God-given promise — of seeing our loved ones again.

    Kyoko Takahashi, Friend of Janet Kang, Joon's sister
  • Joon Koo was a youth group leader of mine throughout Junior High and High School. Like his sisters said he wasn’t a man of many words but allowed his actions to speak for him.

    I recall Sunday afternoons after service when Joon Koo would drive a bunch of us guys to Central Park and play ultimate frisbee with us. Even though he was older than us he had no qualms about hanging out with High School kids.

    I don’t remember anything specific he ever said to me but just watching him serve and love cheerfully every week has left an indelible mark upon my life.

    The best tribute I can imagine is to imitate his generosity to others. I pray I do it half as well as he did.


    Frank, Former youth group student
  • Janet (Joon Koo’s sister), I know this past year has been full of pain, questions and even doubts. Thank you for this wonderful tribute that looks at all of this from a Christ-centered perspective. What an encouragement. And of course, thanks for sharing your life with me and the others in our home fellowship group.

    Much love and abundant blessings to you and the rest of your family.

    Sarah Yi, Friend of Janet (Joon's sister)
  • It took me some time to write however it’s been on my mind ever since. I couldn’t find the right words and still haven’t. I didn’t have the opportunity to meet Joon in person but we spoke on the phone. I worked for Instinet’s product support team and spoke to him the Monday before. Whenever we spoke it was pleasureable. He worked hard and didn’t mind saying that he didn’t know something. He would patiently follow my instructions. He seemed to be a well rounded friendly man. Whenever I pass the site, I pray for all those souls to go to the light and rest in peace. I know he’s watching after you all. When you feel a sense of peace, of serenity, smile lovely back and say thank you, i love you too.

    nn 11/02

    Nadine Newton, Former Instinet employee

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NOTE: All submissions will be reviewed by our administrator prior to being posted. Please limit your tribute to 100 words and be sure to check your spelling as tributes are posted as submitted. Also, please avoid pasting Microsoft Word documents, which can cause character problems.