Today, 18 years ago on September 11, 2001, two airplanes struck the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York in what has been described as the worst terrorist attack on US soil.
The attack was part of a series of four suicide attacks that were coordinated to strike areas of New York City and Washington, D.C.
Two Dominicans lost their lives in the Twin Towers on that fateful day. They are Fitzroy St. Rose and Virgin Lucy Francis.
Forty-year-old St. Rose was a computer technician working for General Telecom on the 96th floor in One World Trade Center. He had a shy smile and an upbeat stride. He seemed to stand a bit taller, one close friend said, when he was doing things out of the goodness of his heart.
He made several calls to his mother after the planes crashed into the towers.
After the towers collapsed, a frantic and intensive search in several hospitals across New York bore no fruit and the grim reality that he had actually died in the attacks soon became apparent.
St. Rose was born on April 19, 1961. He was from Canefield, attended the St. Mary’s Academy and worked as a firefighter before migrating to the Bronx in New York.
Virgin Lucy Francis was 62 years old when she met her tragic end on September 11, 2001. She was born on March 6, 1939 in Dominica but moved to Barbados and migrated to the US in 1986.
She worked at ‘Windows on the World’ as a housekeeper on the 107th floor in the North Tower of the World Trade Centre.
Francis took immense pride in her work and on the morning of the attack was expected to begin her shift at 9:00 am, but went early as she usually did. She took the A train from Fulton Street and arrived well before the first plane struck the buildings. Her family still cannot believe that she is gone.
The names of the two Dominicans have been inscribed, along with the 2,983 names of the men, women, and children killed on that day, into bronze parapets surrounding the twin memorial pools, located in the footprints of the Twin Towers.