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HEAT DOESN’T DETER PUBLIC PRAYERS

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Sept. 15, 2001 — Sweltering heat added to the emotional heaviness in the air Friday afternoon as about 50 people gathered in downtown Christiansted to honor the thousands of victims in Tuesday’s terrorist attacks on the mainland.
Before the memorial started at the Christiansted bandstand, a fire truck led a procession of employees from the Property and Procurement Department down King Street. It was, Commissioner Marc Biggs said, a show of support for the victims of the attack and the entire country. To emphasize that sentiment, P&P employees wore T-shirts with messages of love for both New York and Washington, D.C.
Prayer vigils were also held at the legislative chambers in Frederiksted and in the terminal of the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport.
An hour in the unrelenting noonday sun was a burden those at the memorial service were willing to bear. The emotional gathering was led by Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James II and the Rev. Lester White. Also speaking were Pastors Vincent Gordon and Reuben Vessup and Apostle Eleanor Estrada.
James, a U.S. Army veteran, acknowledged the immense loss and grief the country has experienced since Tuesday but urged people to remember, "We still have our freedom and our democracy."

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