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SERVICES HELD TO MOURN VICTIMS OF ATTACKS

Sept. 12, 2001 – As Wednesday's work day on St. Thomas came to an end, about 150 residents made their way into the St. Thomas Reformed Church on Nye Gade — 1,500 miles from the scenes of devastation in New York City and Washington, D.C. — seeking solace in shared mourning.
Rabbi Jay Heyman and Rev. Jeffrey Gargano led members of their congregations along with a smattering of Catholics, Baha'is and others in an ecumenical "service of sorrow and solidarity."
Many in attendance said their loved ones in New York and Washington were accounted for and safe.
Gargano, pastor of the Reformed church, started the service with "a simple phrase" spoken by a friend earlier in the day — that the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington were "too big to be real … too baffling to speak of."
Heyman read from an e-mail received from his journalist brother-in-law, who wrote, "I hope that we can treat this event not as a crime for which the best we can do is bring the perpetrators to justice, but as an act of war for which we must respond by changing the course of world affairs. That will require much more … than simply bombing innocent people in some far-off dictatorship."
Gargano said one of the jolting things about the terrorist attacks was, "We saw it in our living rooms, in the place we share love with our families."
A little later Wednesday evening, at Nisky Moravian Church, acolyte Ida Dawson led several dozen attendees at a prayer vigil in simple hymns and prayers. Church sexton Albert Lewis said the congregation has been without a pastor since early August, when the Rev. Walton Frederick left the island for further study.
But lack of a pastor didn't seem to faze Dawson, who stood at the front of the church sanctuary at a lectern and told those gathered, "Somebody knows somebody or knows somebody that knows somebody that worked in one of those buildings, somebody who is in the hospital, somebody in the rubble."
Lewis said all of the many family members he had in the New York area were safe. "There is no reason for any of them to be in that area," he said. "They all live uptown."
Lewis once lived in New York but came back to St. Thomas in the early '70s, "around the time the twin towers were finished." He said he lived in New York during the late '60s when they were being built. "I was in one of those buildings once," he recalled.
Words of comfort were offered at both services.
"Whenever we hear hate, it is up to us to cling to the eternal foundations of faith, " Gargano said. He was echoed later by Lewis, who said, "God is good and He is going to see us through."

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Sept. 12, 2001 – As Wednesday's work day on St. Thomas came to an end, about 150 residents made their way into the St. Thomas Reformed Church on Nye Gade -- 1,500 miles from the scenes of devastation in New York City and Washington, D.C. -- seeking solace in shared mourning.
Rabbi Jay Heyman and Rev. Jeffrey Gargano led members of their congregations along with a smattering of Catholics, Baha'is and others in an ecumenical "service of sorrow and solidarity."
Many in attendance said their loved ones in New York and Washington were accounted for and safe.
Gargano, pastor of the Reformed church, started the service with "a simple phrase" spoken by a friend earlier in the day -- that the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington were "too big to be real ... too baffling to speak of."
Heyman read from an e-mail received from his journalist brother-in-law, who wrote, "I hope that we can treat this event not as a crime for which the best we can do is bring the perpetrators to justice, but as an act of war for which we must respond by changing the course of world affairs. That will require much more ... than simply bombing innocent people in some far-off dictatorship."
Gargano said one of the jolting things about the terrorist attacks was, "We saw it in our living rooms, in the place we share love with our families."
A little later Wednesday evening, at Nisky Moravian Church, acolyte Ida Dawson led several dozen attendees at a prayer vigil in simple hymns and prayers. Church sexton Albert Lewis said the congregation has been without a pastor since early August, when the Rev. Walton Frederick left the island for further study.
But lack of a pastor didn't seem to faze Dawson, who stood at the front of the church sanctuary at a lectern and told those gathered, "Somebody knows somebody or knows somebody that knows somebody that worked in one of those buildings, somebody who is in the hospital, somebody in the rubble."
Lewis said all of the many family members he had in the New York area were safe. "There is no reason for any of them to be in that area," he said. "They all live uptown."
Lewis once lived in New York but came back to St. Thomas in the early '70s, "around the time the twin towers were finished." He said he lived in New York during the late '60s when they were being built. "I was in one of those buildings once," he recalled.
Words of comfort were offered at both services.
"Whenever we hear hate, it is up to us to cling to the eternal foundations of faith, " Gargano said. He was echoed later by Lewis, who said, "God is good and He is going to see us through."