As we remember 9/11, a message for aggressors
Terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre twin towers on the morning of September 11, 2001

Today, United States of America will rightly remember the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks inflicted on their country 21 years ago which resulted in the loss of almost 3,000 lives and immeasurable trauma that continues to this day.

Media in the USA have reported that the day will be observed with moments of silence, readings of victims' names, volunteer work, and other tributes.

The American President, Mr Joseph Biden, we are told, is scheduled to speak and lay a wreath at the Pentagon; his wife, First Lady Mrs Jill Biden, is to speak in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, while Vice-President Kamala Harris and her husband are due at the World Trade Center in New York, but will honour the tradition that no political figures speak at the Ground Zero ceremony.

People who recall that horrible day will know that those three locations are significant because it was at these spots that terrorists used hijacked aeroplanes to unleash carnage.

We here in this country cannot forget that day of infamy because many Jamaicans, and indeed citizens from other countries with whom we enjoy friendly relations, were among those who were so senselessly killed in those heinous acts.

We reiterate that the monsters who carried out those attacks were nothing more than cowards who used Islam as a cloak to perpetrate mass murder.

While it is beyond debate that the United States has created many enemies by its history of military involvement in a number of countries, there can be no justification for the bloodletting unleashed on the USA, and indeed the world, on September 11, 2001.

Those vile acts undoubtedly changed the world forever, creating general suspicion and, in some instances, rejection of Islam, a political atmosphere receptive to retaliation, and resulted in American troops going to war in Iraq and Afghanistan — wars that have claimed thousands of lives and left too many people with physical and mental scars.

We reiterate that democracy must be motivated by the force of ideas and not the force of arms. We stand resolute in our position that the world should not submit to the climate of fear that the 9/11 hijackers wanted to create by their actions. Indeed, the international community has a duty to face down aggressors, regardless of the arsenal they possess or pretend to possess.

Today, our thoughts are with the people of the United States and the families of the Jamaicans who died in the 9/11 attacks. The long history of friendship between our two nations is enriched by the fact that Kingston and Washington share a fundamental belief that murder and mayhem will not shake our resolve to protect the ideals of democracy, freedom, and tolerance of cultural diversity.

We advance the mission of a united world cognisant of the lessons in this tragedy, and hold out all hope that the quantum and measure of those events of 2001 will never again be unleashed on the humanity shaped by democracy we all seek to promote.

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