11 September 2001, “Guyanese Roll Call” by Peter Jailall, Guyanese-Canadian Poet Peter Jailall, Terrorist attack on World Trade Center in New York
Caribbean immigrants remember loved ones at the 9/11 memorial on September 11, 2018
Photo Credit: News Americas
On September 11, we will remember all those we have lost on that ill-fated day when a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City turned the world-famous landmark into rubble.
I was living in Brazil when the tragedy occurred, sending a tsunami across the world. More than ninety other nations also lost loved ones that day, including three Brazilian-Americans and twenty-six Guyanese-Americans.
In his poem, “Guyanese Roll Call,” Guyanese-Canadian poet Peter Jailall remembers his twenty-six countrymen and women who died on that day. Their American Dream had been suddenly cut short.
Listen to our roll call
Of those who died
On that dreadful September day,
Following their American Dream:
Leslie Arnold Austin
Kris Romeo Bishundauth
Charles Gregory Jolin
Bowanie Devi Kemraj
These are our dedicated,
Hard-working country people,
Who travelled from South to North
To savour just a small bite
Of the Big Apple.
We will always remember them.
Source: Poetry Collection, People of Guyana by Ian McDonald and Peter Jailall, MiddleRoad Publishers, Canada, 2018.
While violent anti-immigrant activism spread across America, let us remember that Guyanese and other Caribbean immigrant families also share our nation’s grief for loved ones lost on September 11, 2001.