Years from now, when we are telling future children and grandchildren the story of the Year 2020, we will detail the hardships, describe all the restrictions and deplore all that we have given up.
But let’s not include this Thanksgiving Day in that sad litany.
Let’s tell about the remarkable things that happened when the cruise ships and the tourists’ dollars stopped coming and everybody in the Virgin Islands felt the loss. No need for roll call, we were all in the same boat, our boat was leaking but we all kept on rowing.
Let’s tell how people looked out for each other, how people went out of their way to buy from local businesses and how people obeyed new rules that we didn’t like but that we understood were intended to keep us and others safer.
Let’s tell about how doctors and nurses never hesitated to treat the sick even though they were in danger every minute of every hour of every day they were working.
Let’s tell about how teachers dutifully shouldered a heavier burden than ever before and how they met unique demands with determination and innovation.
Let’s tell about how parents willingly sacrificed their own serenity and job security to keep their children safely isolated and educated inside their homes.
Let’s tell about how people of faith throughout the islands found ways to offer comfort and wrap spiritual arms around one another even when church doors closed.
Let’s tell about how the V.I. charities gave and gave and gave and never gave up, turning virtual five loaves and five fishes into endless generosity
Let’s tell about how Virgin Islanders found new graces in the quiet spaces where we previously had our eyes and ears and minds focused on the frenzy of appealing to tourists.
Let’s tell about how the natural beauty of the Virgin Islands gave us solace because it was and always will be a constant reminder of how fortunate we are to be alive this day and every day in this glorious place.
And so let’s sing together, aloud or in our hearts:
“All hail our Virgin Islands,
emeralds of the sea,
where beaches bright with coral sand,
and trade winds bathe our native land…
…where all mankind can join today,
in friendly warmth of work and play.
God bless our Virgin Islands,
beautiful and tall,
beneath a sunny sky,
hold out a welcome
for one and all.” *
* The Virgin Islands March was composed by esteemed Navy bandmaster, Virgin Islander Alton Adams Sr.