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Leaders mark 9/11 anniversary

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Paying tribute: Acting Governor Ginny Ferson, Bob Richards, the Deputy Premier, and US Consul General Mary Ellen Koenig (Photograph supplied)

A wreath-laying ceremony took place to mark the fifteenth anniversary of September 11, 2001.

The event at the 9/11 Memorial in the Botanical Gardens yesterday, organised by the United States Consulate, featured remarks by Acting Governor Ginny Ferson, Bob Richards, the Deputy Premier, and US Consul General Mary Ellen Koenig.

The three representatives laid three wreaths, after which a minute of silence was observed. Attendees included Honorary Consuls representing some of the nations that lost citizens that day, as well in subsequent terrorist attacks.

Bermudians Boyd Gatton and Rhondelle Tankard died in the New York attacks, as did former Saltus Grammar School pupil Robert Higley, a US citizen who grew up in Bermuda. They were remembered along with 67 citizens from Britain, 24 from Canada, 16 from Jamaica, as well as the 2,605 Americans and citizens from 61 other countries. Ms Ferson said: “The scourge of terrorism has not gone away; we have seen further evidence of it over the past year. We must remain ever vigilant at home and when travelling overseas.

“But at the same time we must continue to go about our daily lives without fear, trusting in the fundamental values of respect, tolerance and freedom. Only then will terrorism be shown to have failed.”

Mr Richards said that Bermuda stands “in solidarity with all those who lost something or someone that day”.

“We stand for those who wish to build a better society, a society of peace, tolerance, mutual respect and prosperity,” Mr Richards said.

“The people of Bermuda stand with the people of the United States of America, and join hands with those around the world, in laying a wreath to remember and honour the thousands of innocent lives lost since that fateful day.”

Ms Koenig ended her remarks with a call to “recommit to humanity’s goodness that emerges from these horrors: our collective resiliency and willingness to extend a helping hand, our united resolve against evil, and our instinctual response in the face of tragedy to rebuild and create something meaningful from the ashes”.

Anniversary service: the 9/11 Memorial in the Botanical Gardens (Photograph supplied)
Show of respect: US Consul General Mary Ellen Koenig speaks, with Acting Governor Ginny Ferson and Bob Richards, the Deputy Premier, in attendance (Photograph supplied)