Tears flow as Bermuda marks tenth anniversary of 9/11
September 11 was a tragedy for the people of the world as well as for the US, US Consul General Grace Shelton told a memorial service yesterday.
A congregation of about 60 fanned themselves in silence at the Anglican Cathedral, many wiping tears from their eyes, as tributes were paid to the nearly 3,000 lives lost ten years ago in the worst terrorist attacks of US history.
“Citizens of many nations, including Mr Boyd Gatton and Ms Rhondelle Tankard from Bermuda, paid with their lives,” Ms Shelton continued.
“It is right that we convene here to remember them. May we never forget those who suffered and died in the tragedy, as well as their friends, family and colleagues.”
Resilience takes many forms, Ms Shelton added, including the dedication and courage to move forward.
“While we must never forgot those whom we lost, we must do more than simply remember them. We must sustain our resilience, and remain united to prevent new attacks and new victims.”
Yesterday’s 45-minute service was presided over by Bishop of Bermuda Patrick White, who afterwards consoled a sobbing congregation member at the back of the cathedral.
Mr White told those gathered that Bermuda and the US share much, including close family relationships.
Premier Paula Cox, seated with her husband in the front row between Ms Shelton and Deputy Governor David Arkley, rose to the lectern and told the service that bearing “loss, anger and sorrow is never easy”.
Before her reading from Ecclesiastes, Ms Cox recalled being in Cabinet when she first learned of the attacks in 2001.
Praising the “victory and resilience of the human spirit”, the Premier commended “the ability of a people to keep on keeping on, regardless, that is one of our most endearing characteristics when we weather the storm, and still rise”.
Grieving members of the congregation embraced one another at the close of the service.
Opposition MP John Barritt and MP Wayne Furbert were among those who then filed outside, as Ms Shelton, wiping away tears, descended the cathedral steps to her car.
Earlier in the day, Ms Shelton attended Bermuda’s 9/11 memorial, to place a white wreath at its base.
Attended by a small group of consulate staff, Ms Shelton spoke of the “mothers and fathers, sons and daughter, brothers and sisters, who were simply going about their daily lives on a beautiful Tuesday morning” when terrorists struck.
The gathering then stood for a minute of silence.
The two-towered stone memorial in the Botanical Gardens contains steel from New York’s World Trade Center towers, destroyed that morning in 2001 by two hijacked aircraft.
The twin towers became emblematic of a day that also saw Washington DC’s Pentagon building struck by a third plane, while a fourth plummeted to earth in Pennsylvania.
September 11 will be remembered this morning, at a ceremony on the grounds of Saltus. The school honours its two alumni, Mr Gatton and former student Robert Higley, who perished in the attacks.
A private ceremony will be held tomorrow by US Consulate staff, who will plant a rose bush on the building’s grounds.
l See overseas news - Pages 10, 11, & 39
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