Bahamians Remember 9-11
The world stood still on September 11, 2001, as two airplanes crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, and two others crashed into the Pentagon in Washington DC and a field in Pennsylvania.
Agonizing screams, shattering glass, crushing steel, blaring horns, the offbeat thud of retreating feet and a succession of fiery explosions created a deafening cacophony of sound that added to the chaos of that day.
More than 3,000 persons were reported dead or missing, many others ran through the streets in a haze of shock, confusion and disbelief as a result of Al Qaeda operatives dealing the United States of America its most dangerous terrorist blows ever.
Today persons worldwide, especially patriotic Americans are mourning the events of that day 11 years later.
The Freeport News team asked several persons throughout the community where they were as the events of 9/11 unfolded, do they still revere the significance of the day and how secure do they feel traveling or otherwise since that fateful day?
Leon Laing said: "At the time when 9/11 occurred I was at work and I recall being in a state of shock.
"I could not understand what was going on and why anyone would commit such a heinous offence.
"It was indeed a really sad time and today as I reflected on the anniversary of this day I said a prayer for those still affected by what had happened.
"Since that time I believe things in terms of security has tightened up a lot and I feel now it is more safer than in times past.
"In regards to an incident of that nature occurring in The Bahamas as a result of our close relations to the U.S., I am doubtful it would happen and I thank God for His mercies in all things."
Another community member weighing in on the issue was Dr. Leviticus Rolle.
"During 9/11 I was in medical school incidentally with a group of U.S. medical students in Grenada.
"I remember it vividly as it was a very touching time particularly because I had members of my class who lost family members in that horrible event.
"I have a very good friend whose father was a fireman who died there and sadly enough we had to wait a week or so for confirmation that he was indeed one of the victims of that tragedy.
"I always say a prayer for them but I think the significance of that time has quieted over the years in comparison to the first five years when remembrance services were conducted.
"I imagine now security is better because so much has gone into security since then but I do think it is more frustrating for the average person traveling," Dr. Rolle said.
Dr. Rolle also feels as though with the heightened security life has been made a bit more difficult for persons who are traveling but are wrongly accused of being terrorists or have a terroristic intent.
He too prays that another circumstance of that degree ever occurs and questions whether or not the world is a safer place as a result of the heightened security efforts saying, "Only time will tell."
Retired Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) employee Hetlyn Nelson recalled being in New Providence during 9/11 working on a project for the telecommunications company.
In retrospect, the events of that day came clearly to her: "In the morning when the first plane actually crashed into the tower I thought it was an accident but when I saw the second plane crash as well I immediately realized this was not an
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accident and that it had to be a terrorist attack," Nelson revealed.
With security having been upgraded to what it is today Nelson feels travel is a lot safer as it should be especially with the rapid elevation of computer technology.
"A lot of things have been implemented and I feel it is only for our benefit especially as technology advances.
"Persons may feel now when going through the airports it is a bit of a put back but all security measures are there for your safety and people should take the time to get to the airport one to two hours ahead of time to avoid the hassle and rush," she declared.
Nelson also sent of prayers for those who were directly impacted as a result of the losses of that tragedy and said that we are all one and if you were to trace family heritage you just may find one of your distant relatives suffered in the cataclysm of 9/11.
Lynette Stewart said she remembers being on the bus and listening to the radio in shock as the media broadcast of the 9/11 events were conveyed.
She said while she did not lose any relatives in the 9/11 catastrophe for her the incident was completely "sad."
Stewart affirms she is happy with the security measures that have been enforced within the past 11 years as a result of 9/11 and she does reflect on the events of that day from time to time.
Reflecting on his whereabouts during 9/11 Jeffery Arnold divulged he was in New Providence and even though he was not greatly impacted by the happenings of the day, he does remember being a state of shock.
"I could not believe that anyone would be that brave, stupid or horrific to drive a plane into a skyscraper like that," he said.
Cognizant of upgraded security since 9/11 Arnold believes while it is a bit more tedious when traveling and going through security checkpoints everything has been done in that regard that needed to be done.
"Yes it is more of a hassle, in fact it is a pain but you have to live that because it is safer," he said.
Arnold confessed that he did not remember that today was the anniversary of the attack until he heard the date being mentioned, saying: "Apart from hearing the date I did not remember it. It has happened but that is a part of living, sadly it will not be the last event to occur and other tragedies have happened subsequently."
Pastor Frank Hagan recollected that during 9/11 he was at home with his wife and they were both devastated by the crisis.
"The misfortune of 9/11 has changed traveling completely to the point now that whenever you travel on a plane you have to go through so much security checks and the cost of airline tickets have increased tremendously.
"Despite that I do feel much safer because of the security checks.
"Last night I saw on one of the networks some footage of what had happened the day prior to September 11, 2001.
"They also showed some footage of the actual day and you heard that persons were trapped in elevators, persons conducting rescue efforts were killed even though they saved more than 70 lives and it just goes to show that what Jesus said is true and there is no other love greater love than a man laying down his life for a friend," Pastor Hagan promulgated.
Pastor Hagan said he continues to pray for all and that God would continue to watch over the countries that are loyal to Him.
An interviewee who wished to remain anonymous said the significance of 9/11 has died down and to him it is just another day.
He went on to state that through history tragic events have happened and terrorist attacks have occurred from since the days of Columbus and others who killed natives all because they refused to accept their beliefs.
He too said that other horrific events both manmade and natural have transpire that bear even greater significance since 9/11 and all should be recognized and we must move forward from them all.
© 2012 The Freeport News