Guyana’s First Lady visits 911 Memorial

First Lady of Guyana, Her Excellency Sandra Granger has expressed sadness after touring the World Trade Center Museum on June 9, during a weekend visit to New York as a guest of the Brooklyn-based Guyana non-profit, Guyana Unity Movement (GUM) in celebration of Guyana’s 51 Anniversary of Independence.

Mrs. Granger who was taken on a guided by Senior Manager of Government and Community Affairs of the 911 Memorial, Lauren Welsbeg, saw the devastation through a picture library, before she passed through Tribute Walk and viewed ground zero where relics of that fateful day, stands.

After which Mr. Granger toured the 911 Memorial Museum where she had the opportunity to view a digital photographic collection that showcased images of the 25 Guyanese who perished on Sept. 11, 2001.

Mrs. Granger, who was accompanied by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Basil Williams, President of the GUM Sherif Barker-Fraser and a delegation, then listened to an audio of the daughter of deceased, Guyanese Rudy Bacchus, a former stockbroker with Nasdaq, and former VP at Merrill Lynch who recalled the sad memory of her father the day before he perished. Bacchus was attending a conference at Windows on the World Restaurant on the 107th Floor.

After exiting the museum, Mrs. Granger recalled chilling memories of seeing the second plane crashed into the building from her home in Guyana, and felt a rush of fear, since her brother-in-law had planned to be in that same building, but fortunately for the family, he did not attend the meeting on that sad day.

“It is very poignant. This is a place I would like to visit again in my own time, and patiently go through everything. I would like to focus on the lives that were lost, their value, and the contributions they made,” said Mrs. Granger. “I think it is a poignant reminder of the lives that were lost, and a message of resilience.”

Attorney General Williams in turn, expressed that it was devastating to lose a friend, he said was a promising cricketer.

“I felt a sense of solemnity after seeing the names of Guyanese I knew,” said Williams, adding that many who died in the World Trade Center were very young, including his friend the cricketer. “I was overwhelmed at the nature of destruction, and I am happy that I am involved in an exercise to prevent terrorism.”

Williams is the chair of the Caribbean Financial Action Taskforce — an organization of states and terrorism of the Caribbean basin, which have agreed to implement common counter measures against money laundering and terrorism financing.

The dignitaries arrived in the United States for a weekend of events, which included a visit to the office of Brooklyn Attorney General Eric Gonzalez, a fundraising Unity and Soul Black Tie gala, and Unity Day in Brooklyn.