74.2 F
Cruz Bay
Wednesday, February 8, 2023


Sept. 14, 2001 – Carrying votives, tapers and chunky candles borrowed from the dinner table, three dozen St. John residents gathered in Cruz Bay Park Friday at 7 p.m. to remember the thousands who died in Tuesday's terrorist attacks.
The gathering was similar to countless others held across the nation — prompted by an e-mail message that made its way back and forth across America and beyond on Thursday and Friday. Network television commentators noted that with no other publicity, this modern-day means of communication had reached thousands of people and moved them to light candles, individually or in groups, Friday evening.
"The candles are a symbol of light in a tunnel of darkness," Lisa Durgin said.
At the casual gathering, several participants spoke from their hearts about the week's events. "It is abominable that this evil reached our land," B.J. Harris said.
Andrew Yellon, who was 12 years old when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, said in his mind this attack was different from that one. He noted that other wars that involved the United States — he served in Korea — have been fought on foreign soil. While Hawaii was a U.S. territory when Japan attacked in 1941, it was still overseas. "This is a terrific shock," he said.
Bern Putnam said that two people from his Boston-area hometown died aboard one of the planes that hit the World Trade Center. "This is a solidarity thing," he said, later going around the circle of people gathered to give everyone a hug.
Putnam noted that many residents have turned out to be more nationalistic than they may have thought of themselves as being. Indeed, American flags were in evidence around Cruz Bay and public as well as private-sector locations. The fire station and police headquarters sported huge flags draped across their fronts, and Joe's Diner carried a fringe of small flags around its roof. A car parked in the Port Authority lot had a flag affixed to its side mirror.
Yellon played several musical selections and taps on his saxophone during the half-hour ceremony. At the close, the group gathered in singing "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.