9/11 in Grenada could have been simply another pretty day in Paradise. But God had other things in mind and inspired me to create and organize a 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Memorial Service that brought Grenadians and cruisers together.
I based the service on The Legacy Letters, a book published by Tuesday’s Children in support of the 9/11 families. It contains letters written by friends and families who lost loved ones on that tragic day ten years ago. The letters are filled with humor, hope, compassion, determination and, above all, love.
Our service began with Bobby McFerrin’s “23rd Psalm,” a blend of voices in sacred harmony. Next came my introduction.
The main body of the service featured Legacy Letters that I had assigned to five schoolchildren–all friends from volleyball–Constable Patterson, a first responder from the fire department at the Carenage, and three cruisers, including Mike. From the reaction of the readers and the spectators, it’s hard to say who was moved more by the words.
Interspersed among the letters came special guests to speak. The U.S. charge d’affaires, Bernard Link, spoke with passion about the lives lost on 9/11 as well as those who died in the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 and the attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Later, he shared that our service was one of the most moving events in which he had participated.
Roger Lewis spoke next. It truly was God’s hand who led me to Roger as I organized the event. I visited him at the Sea Port Restaurant and Bar, which he owns, to ask his permission to use Lagoon Park across the street as the site for our event. He shared that the only Grenadian to lose his life on 9/11, Jeffrey La Touche, was his good friend and business partner.
Roger talked about Jeffrey’s unstoppable commitment to other people’s promises. He had arranged to make a road trip with Roger through New York and Connecticut so Roger could finish a business deal on time. To do this, Jeffrey traded work shifts with another chef at the Windows on the World Restaurant. That’s how he met his untimely death.
Lastly, we heard from Mr. Simmons, the Minister of Youth Empowerment and Sports, who represented Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, and spoke eloquently about how 9/11 unified the citizens of our planet.
Our 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Memorial Service ended with 60 seconds of silence. Just as we paused twice earlier in the service to consecrate the crash of Flight 11 and Flight 175 into the north and south towers of the World Trade Center respectively, we reflected on the crash of Flight 77 into the Pentagon and Flight 93 into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
We must never forget the 3,000 lives lost on this day ten years ago.