GARIFUNA Victims of September 11th Terrorist Attack on World Trade Center?

 

 

New York, New York — A few years ago, while glancing at the number of people who paid tribute to either friends or family who passed away on September 11th 2001 in the news feed of my Facebook profile, I began to wonder, were any Garifuna people among the victims of the attack on The World Trade Center on that day?

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I’ve since discovered that there was in fact, at least one victim of Garifuna descent in the September 11th Terrorist Atttack on The World Trade Center.  Her name was Helen D. Cook.  (maiden name, Helen Garcia) and she was a customer service account representative for General Telecom at the World Trade Center.  1

Garifuna American Helen D. Cook (a.k.a. Helen Garcia). Photo courtesy of pastorburt.lifewithchrist.org

Garifuna American Helen D. Cook (a.k.a. Helen Garcia). Photo courtesy of pastorburt.lifewithchrist.org

From the Garifuna town of Santa Fe, Honduras, Helen D. Cook attended Adlai E. Stevenson High School in the Bronx in the mid 1990s and upon graduation, she went to the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1997 and eventually transferred to Hunter College in Manhattan.

Here are a few words about Helen Cook from the website of Pastor Burt Campbell.

“Helen Garcia was born in Honduras. At the age of twelve, she came with her mother and ten-year-old brother (Edson) to New York City and settled in the Bronx. Reflecting on that time, her brother once remarked, ‘We came over for a reason: to go to school and try to become somebody.’ ”


“Over the years, Helen proved to be an apt student, and later decided to attend college in Buffalo, NY. After three years, however, she took a summer job working as a customer service account representative for General Telecom. Every day, she reported to work at 1 World Trade Center. While there, a new life began to form for her. She fell in love with Jermaine Cook, who worked for the stock exchange. Their love was passionate and furious. Helen soon even sported a heart-shaped tatoo of Jermaine’s name on her neck. They were married in August, 1999, and she gave birth to a son, Justin, in October of that same year.

Garifuna American Helen D. Cook (a.k.a. Helen Garcia). Photo courtesy of pastorburt.lifewithchrist.org

Garifuna American Helen D. Cook (a.k.a. Helen Garcia). Photo courtesy of pastorburt.lifewithchrist.org


Who could forsee what would happen that second Tuesday of September? Helen was diligently at work when the plane hit her tower. From the 82nd floor, she was overcome with the immensity of what was happening. She tried calling her husband, but was unable to reach him. In the midst of tears, however, she did get through to her brother. Edson did his best to comfort her in those final, all too few, moments before the building collapsed.


Helen D. Cook died September 11, 2001, at the age of 24. She was a devoted wife, mother, sister, and daughter. She is gone.

Were there any Garifuna Victims of the September 11th 2001 Terrorist Atttacks on the World Trade Center? Illustration from Facebook.

Were there any Garifuna Victims of the September 11th 2001 Terrorist Atttacks on the World Trade Center? Illustration from Facebook.

If you find the BEING GARIFUNA Website helpful and useful, please DONATE. Every dollar donated helps keep this website in operation.  Donations are accepted through the PAYPAL website, so potential donations are SAFE and SECURE. 


On a profile of various September 11th victims in the New York Times, they explained;

Driven To Better Herself

Helen Cook was 12 when she and her brother, 10, moved to the Bronx from Honduras with their mother. “We used to hold hands when we walked in the street,” the brother, Edson Garcia, remembered. “We came over for a reason: to go to school and try to become somebody.”

“She loved school and wanted to become a nurse. But after three years of college in Buffalo, she took a summer job at 1 World Trade Center and met Jermaine Cook, who worked for the stock exchange. Soon his name was in a heart-shaped tattoo on her neck. Their son, Justin, will be 2 on Oct. 23. In August, the couple celebrated their second wedding anniversary in Miami Beach. Mr. Cook is distraught. Mr. Garcia said, “He told me the World Trade brought them together, and it also destroyed them.” ”

Were there any Garifuna victims of the September 11th 2001 Terrorist Attacks on the World Trade Center?

Were there any Garifuna victims of the September 11th 2001 Terrorist Attacks on the World Trade Center? – Photo from Facebook


“After the plane hit, Ms. Cook, 24, tried unsuccessfully to call her husband from the 82nd floor. Instead she reached her brother, crying. By telephone, he did his best to hold her hand. ”

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 10, 2001.  2

Here is a link to a September 11th Memorial Page to Mrs. Helen D. Cook.


May the victims of the attack on America at The World Trade Center continue to rest in peace.

Do you know of any other people of Garifuna heritage or Garifuna Descent who was a victim of the September 11th Terrorist Attacks?  If so, please comment below and let us know.  If you can, please leave a name and what country they or their parents are from.

If you know of a Garifuna Person who worked in the World Trade Center and SURVIVED the September 11th Terrorist attacks, feel free to also leave a comment below.

ABOUT The Garifuna People / SOBRE el Pueblo Garifuna

The Garifuna people are people of African descent (in other words, Black people) whose ancestry can be traced to Africans mixing with Carib Indians and Arawak Indians on the Eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent.  From this cultural fusion of race and ethnicities in St. Vincent Island, a distinct culture and language arose.

Los Garífunas son personas de ascendencia africana (en otras palabras, la gente negro) cuya ascendencia se puede remontar a los africanos mezcla con los indios caribes y arahuacos en la isla del Caribe Oriental de San Vicente. A partir de esta fusión cultural de la raza y etnias en la isla de San Vicente, una cultura y una lengua distinta surgieron.

The Garifuna (then known as The Black Caribs) are noted for not only being the main source of resistance against European expansion into the Lesser Antilles over the course of over 150 years, but also being one of the few (only?) peoples of African descent (again, in other words, Black people) in the Americas to have maintained aspects of their ancestral culture and full use of their ancestral language for everyday use over the course of hundreds of years.

Los Garífunas (entonces conocido como el Caribes Negros) están marcadas no sólo por ser la principal fuente de resistencia contra la expansión europea hacia las Antillas Menores en el transcurso de más de 150 años, pero también es uno de los pocos (sólo?) Pueblos de África descenso (de nuevo, en otras palabras, los negros) en las Américas que han mantenido los aspectos de su cultura ancestral y la plena utilización de su lengua ancestral para el uso diario a lo largo de cientos de años.

After being defeated in war with the British on St. Vincent in 1796; 1004 men,  1779 women and 1,555 children for a total of 4,338 people (mostly Black Caribs, as the Garifuna people were then known) were captured and taken to Baliceaux, a small island, a rock, basically, off the coast of St. Vincent.  This took place from July 1796 through February/March 1797.  About 2,000 Garifunas died of a mysterious and very infectious fever while living on Baliceaux awaiting their fate.

Después de ser derrotado en la guerra con los británicos en San Vicente en 1796; 1004 hombres, 1779 mujeres y 1.555 niños por un total de 4.338 personas (en su mayoría Negro caribes, como los garífunas se conocía entonces) fueron capturados y llevados a Baliceaux, una pequeña isla, una roca, básicamente, en la costa de San Vicente . Esto se llevó a cabo entre julio de 1796 y febrero / marzo de 1797. Cerca de 2.000 garífunas murió de una fiebre misteriosa y muy infecciosa mientras viven en Baliceaux espera de su destino.

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In early March 1797, the remaining Garifunas were loaded onto the HMS Experiment and other ships.  Once they were rounded up, the convoy were taken to a Bequia, which is another island off the coast of St. Vincent. They proceeded to go to Grenada to get water, then Jamaica for refueling, then finally Roatan, Honduras, arriving on April 12th 1797.

A principios de marzo de 1797, los garífunas restantes se cargaron en el Experimento HMS y otras naves. Una vez que fueron detenidos, el convoy fueron llevados a un Bequia, que es otra isla de la costa de San Vicente. Se procedió a ir a Granada para conseguir agua, a continuación, Jamaica para repostar, y finalmente Roatán, Honduras, llegando el 12 de abril 1797.

Finding much of Roatan unliveable, the Garifuna people petitioned officials representing Spain and it’s government (which controlled much of Central America at the time) to be allowed to move to the Honduran mainland.  Upon being allowed to move to the Honduran mainland, namely the port town of Trujillo, Honduras in May 1797. Subsequently, the Garifunas settled many towns and villages along the Caribbean coast of Honduras.  They also migrated to the neighboring countries of Guatemala, Belize (then known as British Honduras) and Nicaragua over the years.

Encontrar gran parte de Roatán inhabitable, el pueblo garífuna solicitaron a los funcionarios que representan a España y es el gobierno (que controlaba gran parte de Centroamérica en el momento) que se le permitiera pasar a la parte continental de Honduras. Al que se le permita pasar a la parte continental de Honduras, a saber, la ciudad puerto de Trujillo, Honduras de mayo de 1797. Posteriormente, los garífunas se establecieron muchas ciudades y pueblos a lo largo de la costa caribeña de Honduras. También emigraron a los países vecinos de Guatemala, Belice (entonces conocido como Honduras Británica) y Nicaragua en los últimos años.

Finally, Garifuna People have also migrated to the United States of America where generations have settled in cities like New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Seattle, Boston, Miami and Boston.  Despite their mainly Spanish surnames, their culture and history are distinct from other Afro-American and Latino ethnic groups and it’s important to keep that in mind.

Por último, garífuna Las personas también han emigrado a los Estados Unidos de América, donde las generaciones se han asentado en ciudades como Nueva York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Seattle, Boston, Miami y Boston. A pesar de sus apellidos, principalmente españoles, su cultura y la historia son distintos de otros grupos étnicos Afro-americanos y latinos y es importante tener esto en mente.

If you find the BEING GARIFUNA Website helpful and useful, please DONATE.  Every dollar donated helps keep this website in operation.  Donations are accepted via the PAYPAL website so your potential donations are SAFE and SECURE.

 

Were any Garifuna people victims of The September 11th Terrorist Attack on the World Trade Center?

Were any Garifuna people victims of The September 11th Terrorist Attack on the World Trade Center?

Notes:

  1. http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/memorial/people/4180.html
  2. http://partners.nytimes.com/library/national/met_MISSING_1010_cook.html

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