For the soon come conclusion of a second hurricane season in a row with no major tropical storm disasters. Dorian barely winked at us, and Sebastien did not even glance our way. For that we are most grateful.

As a people and a place, we suffered terribly in 2017, and thus we dread the June 1-November 30 period in which storm threats loom. But today, as we enjoy sunshine and calm breezes, we can see how blessed we are to be right here right now.

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For the churches and charities and generous souls that provide food for the hungry, beds for the homeless and friendship for the lonely. Need comes in many forms, and the people and communities of the Virgin Islands continually recognize it and find ways to help.

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For the devotion to duty of our police, fire and other first responders who willingly answer a call-out without regard for their own safety. Also for the recent graduates of the V.I. Police Academy who persevered through their intense training, did well and now protect and serve us.

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For the patience and dedication of the teachers who struggle through countless hardships and shortages, yet they still treat every student like a superstar.

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For friends and neighbors who refuse to stay deaf or blind to domestic abuse.

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For the kindness of visitors to our islands who appreciate our beauty and culture and forgive us for our potholes, litter and high prices.

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For the dedicated and seemingly tireless individuals and organizations that rescue, comfort, feed and shelter abandoned, neglected, and cruelly mistreated animals. Their commitment is especially deserving of gratitude because they are so often under-funded and under-valued by our government.

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For the communal humanity of the people of the Virgin Islands, a unique quality that makes our islands a people’s paradise.

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For the natural beauty of the Virgin Islands, which is a constant reminder of how fortunate we are to live and work in this glorious place, as best described in several lines of the revered Virgin Islands March, composed by acclaimed Navy bandmaster Alton Adams Sr., a proud Virgin Islander:

“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,

hilltops high,

hold out a welcome

for one and all.”