September 11, 2006

In Memory of Inna Basina

2996 9-11 tribute Inna Basina tribute

When I signed up for the 2,996 tribute (edit: Use this mirror site instead) and was assigned Inna Basina, I was unable to find much meaningful information about her. I figured I would have to resort to artwork alone to complete a meaningful tribute. Well, it turns out that I could not have drawn a person who more exemplifies what it is to be an American.

A Second Life of Freedom

In Russia, Judaism was Inna Basina's nationality. In New York City, it was her religion. "Here it was not a problem," said Inna's husband, Vladimir Basin.

Inna found her second life when her family settled in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, as refugees in 1994. "It was freedom for her, freedom for our son," he said.

Inna took a job as a translator for AT&T. It wasn't an ideal job, but it made ends meet. The couple made it a point never to be on welfare; they were in the United States for the opportunity, not handouts.

She worked nights while studying for a master's degree in accounting at Pace University. She was a sharp student, and a professor found her an accounting position at J. P. Morgan before she graduated. She moved to Cantor Fitzgerald in 1999.

Vladimir Basin would drop her off at the World Trade Center on his way to work. On the morning of Sept. 11, she was eager to buy a present for her son, Boris, whose 12th birthday was three days later. "Our son is the first thing in our lives," Mr. Basin said. "Everything for America was for family and son, not because she liked accounting."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 13, 2001.

Inna worked in the World Trade Center as staff accountant for Cantor Fitzgerald.

A memorial guestbook features comments from her friends. Some excerpts:

Knowing Inna and her family very closely for many years, I share with them the pain, tragic loss and memories about wondeful person, caring mother and devoted wife.

David Goldsheyder (New York, NY )

One year later I still can not believe that IT happened and that my childhood friend Inna Kogan is one of so many who is gone…The whole year she is in front of my eyes just the way she was when we were young girls: beautiful, with exquisite black hair and with the most gorgeous eyes to mach. Bright, sharp, always straight A-student, well read and well spoken…And then many years later, already here, in America, we would run into each other on the street, talk for a few minutes about our very busy, always on the run adult life, promise each other to call, to come to visit and then run again….She was very happy woman: loving and loved wife, adoring and adored mother, caring daughter….

Innochka, you will always be part of my memory. May your soul rest in peace…

Ella Langman (Brooklyn, NY )

Mrs. Basina, America was, is, and will continue to be a singularly great nation because of people like you. I am proud to have had the privilege of learning about you, and I will honor your memory by living the most decent, noble, and valuable life I can, and by helping others to do the same.

Rest in Peace, Inna.

Posted by Andy at September 11, 2006 07:35 PM to the 911 Tribute category

Thank you for sharing Inna with us all.

Jonathon's Closet remembers Robert Levine.

Posted by: Kate at September 12, 2006 08:26 AM

Thank you so much for this wonderful tribute. I'm so glad you were able to find more information and felt a tingle down my spine when I read what learning about Inna meant to you. I appreciate you taking the time to write a tribute honoring her and her family as well as allowing us to know her as a person, not a number. Thank you.

Jimmy Audiffred: Let the Light Shine.

Other tributes: Frederick Kuo Jr. and Francis Nazario as well as here, also Juan Salas.

Can you help? Some of the 2,996 victims don't have tributes or the ones posted were missing so much, it would be a disservice to their memory, family and friends if one wasn't posted that truly honored them. For a list of these individuals and more info, please go to: and click on "Remembering The Forgotten".

Please pass the candle by sharing other tributes while leaving kind words in the comments of blogs paying tribute to the 2,996 lost on September 11th.

God bless,

Posted by: Kathie at September 13, 2006 04:32 AM

Indeed she did exemplify our American character, seeking a better life for her son and working hard for his benefit. How very sad that he will be graduating from high school soon without his mother's face beaming at him because evil people stole that from him.

Posted by: Anna Venger at September 13, 2006 02:31 PM

my name is nicholas basina as far as i know she was one of the only basinas' in the world. i whant to know more about her and her family. pleas.

Posted by: Nicholas Basina at May 17, 2007 12:54 AM

I'm afraid I don't have any more information for you, but you might be able to contact the originator of the tribute in order to track down original sources.

Posted by: Andy at May 17, 2007 01:37 AM

There are many Basina's that live in extreme Nothern Wisconsin. Basina is the last or Sir name. Most of the Basina's belong to the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. We also have relatives in Milwaukee and Chicago, Minneapolis, and On the Menominee Indian Reservation in Central Wisconsin.

Posted by: Lynne Basina at August 27, 2009 05:23 PM

That's interesting information. Thank you for sharing.

Posted by: Andy at August 27, 2009 06:15 PM
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