Sept. 11, 2001 – Following are excerpts from statements issued by public officials in response to the terrorist attacks on the U.S. mainland Tuesday.
Senate President Almando "Rocky" Liburd:
As Virgin Islanders, with family and friends living and working in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, we at the Legislature express our shock, sadness and condolences to the people of New York, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
We are also concerned for one of our local business partners, American Airlines, whose jetliner, a 767, was apparently hijacked and intentionally crashed into the Trade Center.
I ask that each and every Virgin Islander take a minute today to pray for the souls of those individuals killed and injured in these tragedies. I have also ordered the V.I. flag at all Legislature buildings to be flown at half [staff] for the dead and injured, and I urge that all government buildings do the same.
Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg:
I know that we have been isolated by the closure of our ports and by lack of long-distance service, and this is frustrating when so many of us have friends and loved ones who may have been personally touched by this tragedy. But I am urging everyone to follow instructions from law enforcement and VITEMA, and to cut down on non-essential phone calls until things begin to normalize. I can't emphasize enough the importance of remaining calm during a time like this.
We are Virgin Islanders, but we are also Americans, and when a disaster strikes, we are reminded of just how deeply we are all connected. I know that the people of this territory join me in offering heartfelt condolences to the families of the many victims of this horrifying attack on our beloved country.
Sen. Norma Pickard-Samuel:
A release from her office conveyed her "shock and dismay" at the "senseless terrorist attack on our nation's capital and our largest city. This wicked coordinated terrorist act on lives and properties left a trail of blood and destruction on the street of our cities."
The release extended her condolences and called "for all citizens of this great nation to band together to assist in the search and the capture of the cowards who committed this atrocious act against our nation." It also expressed her concern "for the well-being of the many Virgin Islanders and Caribbean people who work in the World Trade Center building and also for the many Virgin Islanders and her many personal friends who are employed at the Pentagon building."
Also, the release cited Pickard-Samuel as encouraging "everyone to play and give support to our servicemen and women who may go to war and risk their lives as a result of these attacks." It further stated that "she is confident that the leaders of our great nation will not rest until the perpetrators are brought to justice."
Sen. Carlton Dowe:
These horrendous acts may have produced tens of thousands of casualties and possibly thousands of deaths. Whoever is responsible for this catastrophe must be hunted down and punished.
We must all pray for the families of those who have suffered from this tragedy. We must pray for a speedy recovery for the injured. May God continue to console us in this time of grief. May God continue to bless America.
Education Commissioner Ruby Simmonds:
It has come to my attention that several employees have relatives working in the buildings which have been impacted. Please know that my prayers are with all those who are awaiting news, and I pray that your loved ones are safe.
(A release said Simmonds indicated that the Education Department's Human Resources Division and Public Relations Office "are available to assist employees with emergency support services during this crisis period."


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