Elephant Man relives Sept 11

BY SIMONE MORGAN-LINDO
Observer reporter
morgans@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, September 11, 2017

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ELEPHANT Man remembers the events of September 11, 2001 as if it were yesterday. The dancehall deejay — born September 11, 1975 — was in the United States en route to Jamaica, where he planned to celebrate his birthday in fine style.

“A did mi birthday and I was in Miami trying to get back to Jamaica. When mi reach di airport me see a whole heap a US Federal Marshalls a say we must clear di airport and dem face look really, really worried. And when me look again, mi see people start run and mi start wonder if is a movie did a shoot a di airport... I was thinking, 'if a movie, mi waan get inna it'. So mi neva really tek it serious at first,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

But reality quickly sunk it.

The entertainer said he hurriedly took a cab and returned to his hotel. It was not until he reached his destination he realised the full extent of what was happening.

“When me deh deh a watch the TV is a next plane that me see just crash into the Pentagon. Bwoy, me lock off di TV because a first me ever see something of this nature... Everything was just terrifying and unbelievable,” he said.

Today marks the 16th anniversary of a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda using commercial aeroplanes which killed 2,997 people and injured more than 6,000 others. Two of the planes were crashed into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center complex in New York City, respectively. The infrastructure and property damage amounted to US$10 billion.

The attack's mastermind, Osama bin Laden, was subsequently killed on May 2, 2011.

Two weeks after the September 11 attacks, Elephant Man said he returned to Jamaica and was still traumatised by the incident. With things still fresh in his mind, he said he penned the lyrics to the single The Bombing. It was produced by Skatta Burrell.

“I still believe the song is my best work yet. After seeing how much lives did loss and how the world was affected, mi did haffi do something. I had family in New York, but thankfully they weren't affected but other families were. 9/11 was awful and I just put my thoughts into song,” he said.

Elephant Man said he waited for a few months before he travelled back to the United States.

“The airport was miserable man. Security check did tun up. I wanted America to do their job and hold somebody first because, at a point in time, almost everyone was a suspect,” he said.

Reflecting on the tragedy, Elephant Man said it was a “wake up call”.

“I didn't see any of the world wars but to be alive when something as tragic as this happen was a wake up call for everyone. It show how cruel and wicked mankind can be. We should just give God the glory and prepare ourselves for anything,” he said.

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