By Zoe Fowler
University of Tampa graduate student Deandra Smith was in her homeland Bahamas when the terrorist group Al-Qaeda flew into the twin towers in New York City on Sept 11, 2012.
Smith was a high school student at St. Augustine’s College. Like so many people it was a normal day for her. She went to school, completed her work and came home.
Unlike most students, Smith didn’t receive the tragic news while at school. Teachers didn’t run to their colleagues to confirm the news. Her class didn’t watch the news in horror at what was unfolding right in front of their eyes.
Smith found out about the terrorist attacks on the news channel when she arrived home from school. Her immediate reaction to the whole ordeal was overwhelming sadness.
Smith wasn’t sure about the condition the U.S. was in or how it would directly affect her country’s economy. The Bahamas depends heavily on the U.S. for exports, imports and the influx of terrorists that visit Nassau frequently.
Their U.S. Embassy held a commemoration ceremony to pay their respects to the victims of 9/11. It’s a part of their tradition to have a ceremony every year.
“I’m not quite knowledgeable on the behind-the-scenes procedures. The Bahamian government and U.S officials residing in The Bahamas would usually be seen doing something similar to what UT does on campus with the display of the American flag around U.S buildings,” said Smith.
It’s been eleven years since the day that changed America forever. Smith believes as a result of the attacks, Americans have a lot of resentment toward other cultures.
“Instead of getting to know the person, they just see someone from how they look and they automatically think that they’re a terrorist,” said Smith.
To pay their respects, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama spent all day going to events to honor the victims and their loved ones. They congregated on the South Lawn of the White House to observe a moment of silence, traveled to the Pentagon Memorial to attend the September 11th Observance Ceremony, visited wounded warriors and their families at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland and met with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta with Vice President Joe Biden.
Smith appreciates what Obama has done to commemorate the lives of the people lost on that tragic day.