photo: Sharina Henriquez

PHILIPSBURG – “People want to move on. Why would you want to remember a disaster. They are glad that they survived”, says Daniel Gumbs, a retired teacher.

The living room/bed room of the Pollock family –picture: Sharina Henriquez

The repair project that Gumbs coordinates every Sunday, brings him to a lot of family homes. He noticed that there isn’t a lot of enthusiasm for the National Day of Reflection event planned on Thursday, September 6. The government has requested that everyone observes 2 minutes of silence at 09:06.

The Pollock family, which has three children one of whom is five, is still living in a damaged home after one year. They only started receiving help about three months ago to start renovating their house.

By Tim van Dijk

The dad, Gary Pollock says that it is very important to remember. “Take some time to reflect on it, because we all went through it. We all lost a lot that day. If anyone out there does not agree with that, than you don’t have a heart.”

Besides the call of the government to observe a moment of silence, there is no official remembrance program. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport who initiated the moment of silence says the Minister will record a speech, which will be distributed to the media afterwards.
Barely any collection efforts have been organized, while non-profit organizations are jumping at the thought of getting more cash to help the needy.

Psychological problems
Another factor that might have an influence on the level of interest to remember the events, is that a lot of people are worst off now, compared to right after the hurricane. People who might have been able to live off of their savings, but can’t anymore because they used it all up. For those people the struggle is truly becoming hard, one year after Irma.

That’s according to doctor Ruth Douglas. She works together with other specialists, psychologists, and the government to help those with psychological issues survive the aftermath of Irma. But what she sees are more individuals who are just now starting to feel the effects of the hurricane due to negative prospects.

doctor Ruth Douglas