My dear fellow Virgin Islands people, today, Monday, 6 September, marks the four-year anniversary of the passage of Hurricane Irma. The catastrophic Category 5 hurricane devastated our homes, personal possessions, livestock, businesses and jobs, our economy, but it did not destroy our most important quality—our resilience; that indomitable spirit that pervades our DNA, which was passed to us by our foreparents.
Imagine, this disaster came on the heels of the August floods that disrupted our Emancipation activities. And then, when we thought things could get no worse, two weeks later, Maria, another catastrophic Category 5 hurricane came. This too did not destroy our most important quality—our resilience. Our spirit was not broken.
While this experience was traumatising for us as a people, the fact is that during this difficult moment in time, the same events that shook our Faith strengthened our resolve.
For through it all, and this still remains the same today, GOD is with us! During these times, we were reminded that we have strengths that we often forget, and that we are stronger together. The devastation challenged our Faith to keep trust in God that better days were ahead.
Today, we continue to rebuild for the saying is true that it takes years to build a reputation and one second to destroy it. People of the Virgin Islands you did not let the hurricanes keep us down. Using what we had in our hands, just as our people have done for generations upon generations, we took charge of ensuring our recovery – and we have achieved significant progress.
We will continue to maintain our position and we will continue to ensure that iron sharpens iron. Let us continue to lift our Faith with the assurance in GOD that our tomorrows will continue to be better than our yesterdays.
No matter what is thrown at us, you the GOD of our fore-parents whose prayers continue to saturate our lands, we pray that you keep us safe in this hurricane season, and that you bless us as we say, GOD is Great!