An outpouring of sympathy
US Ambassador Sue Cobb
attacked that which makes all of us, Americans, Jamaicans, indeed,
most of the citizens of the world who we are -- freedom loving,
open and democratic societies"
I have been
deeply comforted by the outpouring of sympathy and support expressed
to my staff, my fellow citizens and me in the days following the
horrific terrorist attacks in the United States. I wish to express
my profound gratitude to the Jamaican people for the demonstration
of love and support we have received.
We are greatly
appreciative of the Governor-General's, the Prime Minister's and
the Opposition Leader's heartfelt statements of condolence and support,
as well as the sympathy and support evidenced by other Cabinet Ministers.
of Tourism and Sport, Portia Simpson Miller (left), hugs Sue
Cobb, Ambassador of the U.S. to Jamaica, at a
special mass held for the victims of the attack at Stella Maris
Church in Kingston, on September 17, 2001.
My staff and
I have received hundreds of calls and letters expressing empathy,
compassion and personal prayers from business people and labour
unionists, religious leaders of all faiths, politicians from across
the spectrum, school children, policemen, soldiers, teachers, nurses
and others; many offered to donate blood or to help dig out survivors
with their own hands. Well-wishers placed flowers and wreaths at
our doorstep. Especially touching were the throngs of Jamaican citizens
who queued to enter personal notes and heartfelt messages in the
Embassy Condolence Book. Jamaicans of all beliefs and denominations
joined with us to draw comfort and strength from a united, common
humanity, and to quietly prepare for the difficult times which have
been drawn upon us.
We are mindful
that Jamaica, too, suffers mightily from this tragedy. It seems
every Jamaican has been touched personally by the unspeakable acts
of September 11. Sadly we note that a number of the missing and
deceased are sons and daughters of the Caribbean -- many from Jamaica.
There is no doubt that Jamaica has been directly and painfully affected.
I mourn together with the friends and families of those in Jamaica
so grievously affected. I pray for bereaved Jamaicans as I pray
for the devastated citizens of my homeland.
assault was staged on American soil, it was, as President Bush said
in the hours following the attack, "an attack on freedom itself".
The attackers did not make distinctions about the nation of origin,
gender, age or ethnicity of their victims. They attacked that which
makes all of us, Americans, Jamaicans, indeed, most of the citizens
of the world who we are --- freedom loving, open and democratic
societies, seeking to provide education, opportunity, and promise
to all people. With their devious, despicable and tumultuously violent
action, terrorists have tried to take that most precious to us --
our freedom and our humanity.
The world community
must coalesce against a new, lawless, indiscriminate and violent
enemy. The United States and its allies have sent a clear signal
that we will not tolerate such disregard for basic civility and
for destruction of innocent human life. We seek the support of all
who will not tolerate the same. With due regard for those who are
innocently caught up in this unwelcome struggle, we will seek out
those responsible and appropriate and meaningful justice will be
I want to thank
each and every citizen of Jamaica who spoke up to support and comfort
us in our time of travail. President Bush and the American people
-- your neighbours to the north -- are counting on your continued
support. Together we will heal and we will rise to this new challenge
facing the world.
God Bless America
and God Bless Jamaica.