Caribbean pols honor Sept. 11 victims

New York City Public Advocate, Jumaane Williams.
New York City Public Advocate, Jumaane Williams.
Photo by Steve Solomonson, file

Stating that they will never forget, two Caribbean American legislators in New York on Sunday remembered the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, and Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, joined Americans in paying tribute to the victims who perished in the tragedy and loved their loved ones.

“More than two decades have passed since Sept. 11, 2001, and the memory of that morning and its aftermath, the grief of the families who lost loved ones, remain a permanent part of our city and its people,” Williams said.

“I pray for healing and peace for New Yorkers mourning the loss of 21 years, for those who have passed in the years since, and for those still suffering illness and injury as a result of the attacks, including the first responders who sacrificed their own safety in service,” he added.

“New York saw unimaginable loss 21 years ago today, and, in its wake, unimaginable courage and compassion,” the public advocate continued. “From collective despair came an environment of collective empathy, of resolve, of support for and from our fellow New Yorkers and our fellow Americans.

“I hope that we still have the capacity to summon that common spirit and direct it toward common good,” Williams said. “Recovery means remembering. The collective trauma of this tragedy remains, and we must continue to comfort those in mourning, support those in need, and remember those we lost.”

He said the pain of Sept. 11 remains “heavy on our city and our nation’s minds, our hearts, our history, and so, too, must our sense of strength, solidarity and support,” he said.

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn speaks during the New York State Democratic Convention in New York, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022.
Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn speaks during the New York State Democratic Convention in New York, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022.Associated Press/Seth Wenig/File

Bichotte Hermelyn, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn, noted that nearly 3,000 lives were lost when terrorists, using airplanes, struck the twin towers of for World Trade Center in lower Manhattan.

“We still feel the pain, sorrow and loss of Sept. 11th, 2001,” she said. “The viscous attack was followed by the bravery and courage of first responders and citizens who thought not of themselves but of their fellow citizens as they rushed to danger.

“We mourn also for those lost in the aftermath of the attack—the heroes who selflessly worked at the rescue site only to become sick years later, with far too many passing, and more still to this day,” the assemblywoman added. “It is our obligation to remember and honor every single American we lost that day, and to also continue to care for those still suffering.

“We must not forget that despite all its horrors, September 11th also revealed the powerful support, unity and bravery displayed by our diverse community that banded together,” Bichotte Hermelyn continued. “We will never fully recover from that fateful day, but the resiliency of the American people rebuilt our city and borough back stronger.

“We will continually commemorate this day in our hearts, souls and minds,” she said. “We will never forget.”

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