Sept. 11, 2001 – Gov. Charles W. Turnbull issued the following statement at noon Tuesday in response to the mainland attacks.
Fellow residents of the Virgin Islands, as you must know by now, the nation and its territories are under attack by vicious terrorists. We must all take precautions to safeguard lives and property here in the territory.
Today is a day of national catastrophe of unparalleled dimensions. The worst nightmare of civilized people around the world has become reality. The people of the United States Virgin Islands join all Americans and the people of the civilized world in expressing our outrage and absolute repugnance at the heinous attack against innocent people in Washington and New York and elsewhere in the nation this morning, bringing with it a human tragedy of immeasurable extent.
We pray for all who have been wounded or suffered loss of precious life this day. We ask Almightly God to have mercy on the souls of those who have died and pray for comfort of the loved ones, friends and families.
As a result of the horrifying events of this morning, without a clear idea of the extent of the terrorist attack against our great nation, I have directed Police Commissioner Franz Christian and the adjutant general of the Virgin Islands National Guard, Maj. Gen. Cleave McBean, to take the necessary precautions to safeguard all public buildings and facilities throughout the territory.
I have been in contact with Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James II, Senate President Almando "Rocky" Liburd and the chamber of President Judge Maria Cabret to insure we are all working together to protect lives and property.
I have also contacted Mr. Alexander Moorhead of Hovensa, who has assured me that he is taking all precautions to protect the refinery and its associated properties. Similar discussions have taken place with Mr. Edward Thomas and Calvin Wheatley of West Indian Company Ltd. to safeguard the West Indian Company dock, and the Port Authority to increase security on all Port Authority facilities across the territory.
I urge everyone in the territory to take the necessary precautions to safeguard yourselves and your loved ones as we await further information of this tragedy.
As we witness the horror of the events that continue to unfold across our nation, let us ask God to continue to bless our great nation, our president and the leaders of our nation and pray that God may guide and bless their decisions and actions in the days and weeks ahead.
Additional comments
After the governor read his statement on WVWI Radio, he told news director Jean Greaux that the Coast Guard was "making sure" the two cruise ships in port at St. Thomas Tuesday were safe. "The seaports aren't closed," Turnbull noted.
The governor said that Dean Plaskett, Planning and Natural Resources commissioner, had issued a list of buildings and installations to be secured "to the highest degree." They include the Hovensa refinery and the Divi Carina Bay Casino on St. Croix, Marriott's Frenchman's Reef Beach Resort on St. Thomas, and The Westin Resort on St. John; Government House, the Water and Power Authority plants; the Finance Department offices; the Crown Bay container port; and the airports and hospitals on St. Thomas and St. Croix.
"We can't announce everything we are doing now," Turnbull said. "This is a very serious matter. Never has a vicious attack like this happened in the history of the world."
Lt. Gov. James, and Maj. Gen. McBean stood with Turnbull as he issued his message. At its conclusion, James cautioned residents to be calm. "We can help each other just by talking with those who have family members working in New York," he said.
McBean, who is in charge of the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency, said the territory had been placed on a heightened state of alert, and "we are taking appropriate actions. I can't name them, but the V.I. key assets are protected."
Turnbull said action was being taken to coordinate efforts of the Tourism and Human Services Departments to assist visitors who are unable to leave the territory until flights resume. He said he was meeting with the Coast Guard, FBI and Police Department officials.
The governor cautioned all residents to "look with great scrutiny at everything."


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here