Dominican family reflects on Fitzroy St. Rose who perished in 9/11 attacks

Fitzroy St. Rose died in the World Trade Center attack on 9/11.
Fitzroy St. Rose died in the World Trade Center attack on 9/11.

Brooklyn resident Dr. Jean Joseph, the Dominican-born, former president of the Brooklyn-based West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), said the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States brought back memories of her nephew, Fitzroy St. Rose, who apparently perished in the tragedy.

Dr. Joseph, a certified public accountant (CPA), told Caribbean Life that St. Rose, who was born in 1963, lived in the Bronx and worked on the 80th Floor, with General Telecom, in World Trade Center Two.

“He was very active in the Dominican community in the Bronx,” she said. “We wish we could have Fitzroy back.

He was a very promising young man in the Dominican community at home and in the Bronx,” she added. “It was a trying moment. Not only we suffered, but a lot of families suffered also.

“We want to thank all who reached out to us, and thank the government for assisting us (financially),” Dr. Joseph continued. “So, we are grateful.”

Former WIADCA President, Dr. Jean Joseph.Photo by Nelson A. King

St. Rose’s father, Dennis Joseph, Dr. Joseph’s elder brother, told Caribbean Life from Dominica that his son, who migrated to New York in 1993, worked as a computer technician in the North Tower.

“At about 8.50 am that fatal day, he called his mother Petrolina ‘Pat’ Joseph, who was in Dominica to tell her that there was something wrong in the building but knew not what it was,” Joseph said.

“He again called some minutes later to say that he was beginning to feel some panic, because he could not get out of his office space, as the door was jammed,” he added. “He said there were about seven others in the office, including two women.”

Joseph, who was in New York at the time, said his son then called him to find out if he could tell him “what the situation was on the news about the happenings at the WTC (World Trade Center).

“He was told that it was on the CNN news that a small plane had struck the North Tower,” Joseph said. “There was no further communication from him.

“All efforts to find what had happened to him in the days after the building collapsed were in vain,” he said. “He was well known in his area, where he lived in the Bronx, and was involved in bringing Dominica musical bands to New York for the Labor Day celebrations.

“His words at a fun party on that Labor Day, Sept. 3, 2001, were: ‘If I die today, I will say I lived a happy life in America,’” Joseph added. “A few days later, he was gone. His body was never found.”