Fortsberg — built in 1718 by slave labor to protect the Coral Bay harbor and now in ruins — was the site where the Danish flag was planted, claiming St. John, and it was the same site that was reclaimed by enslaved Africans who launched a slave revolt.

Every year I try to write on another subject and sometimes I succeed. Every year, though, the allure of the day draws me to it and I find myself thinking new thoughts and seeing new angles. Honoring the events that took place on St. John in 1733 is never far from my mind on this day. It is an event that has so many lessons to share.

We live in “whatever” times. Each day feels like an inundation of so much conflict and confusion that you want to just throw your hands up and say “whatever.” It makes you want to micro focus your world and just try to live your own life. But humans can’t survive that way. My success or suffering is tied to the success and suffering of others, from my neighbors to a stranger halfway across the world.