Cultural Vistas Remembers September 11

With the 12th anniversary of September 11 upon us, we have an opportunity to remember and reflect.

Those shocking and awful events impacted us all in different ways. Many of us lost someone special or know people who lost a loved one or friend. We were no exception at Cultural Vistas.

One of our exchange participants, Leanne M. Whiteside, a 31-year old from Melbourne, Australia, sadly died in the attack. Leanne was on just her second day of work as a J-1 Trainee with Aon Risk Services, located on the 104th floor of Two World Trade Center. She was at the beginning of a bright, promising career and we mourn her loss.

We also remember Todd Ouida, a 25-year old foreign currency option trader for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 105th floor of One World Trade Center, who was unable to escape. His father, Herb Ouida, who then worked for the World Trade Centers Association on the 78th floor of the same building, survived the attack.

Over the past two decades, Herb has worked with Cultural Vistas on numerous exchange programs, including the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals, Korea WEST and the Kizuna Project, promoting global experiences and hosting a number of international interns.

His continued passion for global understanding despite his family's tragic loss serves as an inspiration to us all.

The victims – Americans and foreign nationals from 57 countries, their families, friends, and co-workers continue to be in our hearts.

Senator Fulbright believed exchanges were a means “to bring a little more knowledge, a little more reason, and a little more compassion into world affairs and thereby to increase the chance that nations will learn to at last live in peace and friendship.”

As we remember and reflect on this important date, and continue to honor those who were affected, we hopeour exchange programs can contribute to global understanding and peace by bringing together different cultures and building new friendships - one person at a time.

Rob Fenstermacher
President & CEO


Looking for a way to carry on the legacy of those who were lost on that day? 9/11 Day is a movement to annually observe September 11 as a day of service and doing good deeds.

It provides a positive way to forever remember and pay tribute to the victims, honor those that rose in service in response to the attacks, and remind others of the importance of working more closely together in peace to improve our world. Learn more at 911day.org.