St. John first responders were joined by more than 20 cadet firefighters and veterans Wednesday for a solemn ceremony to memorialize the attack on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, and honor those who put their lives before others in times of disaster.
The events were organized by the American Legion Viggo E. Sewer Post No. 131 and were timed to take place at the hour of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York 18 years ago. Police and fire department officials were joined by St. John veterans and Sen. Steven Payne in a march through Cruz Bay. The wail of fire trucks could be heard throughout Cruz Bay.
St. John Deputy Police Chief David Cannonier called the names of fallen police officers who entered the World Trade Center on “the day the country lost its innocence,” and reminded listeners who gathered at Frank Powell Park in Cruz Bay to remember first responders who continue to make sacrifices.
Payne read the names of Virgin Islanders who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks, including Special Staff Sargeant Maudlyn A. White, Felix Bobby Calixte, Claudia Sutton, William Henry Jr., Christian Maltby, Chris M. Kirby, and John Holland.
St. John Administrator Shikima Jones Sprauve reminded the audience of the resilience of the community and said, “The smallest act of kindness is a way to honor those we lost.”
Harry Daniel, commander of American Legion Post No. 131, led the audience in a rendition of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” After a closing prayer, the public was invited for refreshments in the Viggo E. Sewer Post Hall.