THE United States Embassy in Port of Spain today commemorated the 12th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attack.
Fourteen of the persons who died that day were born in Trinidad and Tobago: Conrad Cottoy, 50, Rena Sam-Dinnoo, Joan Francis, Winston Grant, 59, Clara Hinds, 52, Stephen Joseph, 39, Glenroy Neblett, 42, Jerome Nedd, 39, Oscar Nesbitt, 58, Anthony Portillo, 48, Vishnoo Ramsaroop, 45, Goumatie Thackurdeen, 35, Boyie Mohammed, 50, and Paula Morales, 42.
Charge d'Affaires Margaret Diop laid a wreath and staff at the U.S. Embassy at Queen's Park West in Port of Spain, paid a minute's silence.
Diop said: “As we honor the memories of the victims, including the 14 persons from Trinidad and Tobago, we also pay tribute to those who gave their lives so that others may live.”
In previous years, relatives of Trinidad and Tobago nationals who were victims in the tragedy joined in the wreath laying ceremony, and church service.
On September 11, 2001 a series of four suicide attacks were committed in the United States, coordinated to strike the areas of New York City and the capital Washington, D.C. On that Tuesday morning, 19 terrorists from the Islamist militant group al-Quaeda hijacked four passenger jets. The hijackers intentionally piloted two of the planes into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Centre complex, both of which collapsed within two hours.
Hijackers also intentionally crashed two more planes into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks, including the 246 civilians, and 19 hijackers abroad the four planes.
On its Facebook site, the US Embassy posted a statement issued yesterday by US President Barack Obama in which he declared today Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Rememberance.
The following is his address:
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Twelve years ago this month, nearly three thousand innocent men, women, and children lost their lives in attacks meant to terrorize our Nation. They had been going about their day, harming no one, when sudden violence struck. We will never undo the pain and injustice borne that terrible morning, nor will we ever forget those we lost.
On September 11, 2001, amid shattered glass, twisted steel, and clouds of dust, the spirit of America shone through. We remember the sacrifice of strangers and first responders who rushed into darkness to carry others from danger. We remember the unbreakable bonds of unity we felt in the long days that followed -- how we held each other, how we came to our neighbors' aid, how we prayed for one another. We recall how Americans of every station joined together to support the survivors in their hour of need and to heal our Nation in the years that followed.
Today, we can honor those we lost by building a Nation worthy of their memories. Let us also live up to the selfless example of the heroes who gave of themselves in the face of such great evil. As we mark the anniversary of September 11, I invite all Americans to observe a National Day of Service and Remembrance by uniting in the same extraordinary way we came together after the attacks. Like the Americans who chose compassion when confronted with cruelty, we can show our love for one another by devoting our time and talents to those in need. I encourage all Americans to visit www.Serve.gov, or www.Servir.gov for Spanish speakers, to find ways to get involved in their communities.
As we serve and remember, we reaffirm our ties to one another. On September 11, 2001, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family. May the same be said of us today, and always.
By a joint resolution approved December 18, 2001 (Public Law 107-89), the Congress has designated September 11 of each year as "Patriot Day," and by Public Law 111-13, approved April 21, 2009, the Congress has requested the observance of September 11 as an annually recognized "National Day of Service and Remembrance."
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 11, 2013, as Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance. I call upon all departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States to display the flag of the United States at half-staff on Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance in honor of the individuals who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. I invite the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and interested organizations and individuals to join in this observance. I call upon the people of the United States to participate in community service in honor of those our Nation lost, to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities, including remembrance services, and to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time to honor the innocent victims who perished as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.
(Richard Charan- Multimedia Editor)