ST. CROIX — On the one-year anniversary of Hurricanes Irma and Maria’s devastation in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Governor Kenneth Mapp has praised God for fortifying him, his colleagues and the people of the Virgin Islands for the challenge of rebuilding their homeland, Government House said Thursday.
In a stirring address last Sunday at the first of three thanksgiving events to mark the occasion, he told worshippers in St. Thomas that in the immediate aftermath of the devastation he could not fathom how the territory would rebound. In fact, he needed time to pull himself together before rallying his Cabinet and others to set to work, Government House said.
“I had to ask for 10 minutes alone so I could get myself together,” the governor recalled, after touring hurricane-hit St. John and St. Thomas.
“Because the devastation I saw, I did not know how we were going to recover. I did not know how I will face the people of the Virgin Islands in this daunting task of natural mayhem,” he added.
The event on St. Croix will be held at the St. Croix Educational Complex from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and features the renowned Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights as well as other inspirational groups. The thanksgiving service on St. John will be held at Franklin Powell Park in Cruz Bay and will follow a similar program.
“Hurricanes Irma and Maria may have devastated our islands last September, but not the resolve of our people to work together to build back stronger and smarter,” Mr. Mapp said. “In spite of our differences, we stand united as Virgin Islanders, thankful for one another and indebted to God for continuing to bless us.”
The upcoming services will be streamed on the Virgin Islands Consortium’s Facebook page.