Two category five storms, Irma and Maria, have indeed tested the core of the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and have taught us that in all things we must give thanks. Today, I join the many in giving thanks as a people for life; thanks for the opportunity to rebuild and above all thanks for the recovery process that will in the end strengthen us as a people, and with God’s grace and mercy unit us as one.
In reflecting on the past three months I find that giving thanks is indeed essential. In looking at all the destructions around me, I must first give thanks to God in all His wonders for sparing many lives over property. As such, a great big thank you must be shouted throughout our community to the many First Responders who unselfishly put their lives on the line to serve, and serve they did. Our Police, EMS, Fire Fighters, Rescue, National Guard, Essential Department Heads, Doctors/Nurses, and Other Volunteers did step up and willingly putting service before self and served, to which, I join the many in our community in saying “thank you on a job well done” to all of you. Your services were truly appreciated by me and many within our community. You surely helped to make our fears and hardship much bearable.
In giving thanks, however, I must recognize and extend thanks to the hardworking men and women of WAPA, VI Waste Management Authority, VITEMA, and Public Works, who were there from the beginning and are still there to the bitter end, putting service before self. As well, as the many men and women who left their home and love ones and came to our shores to help, which include but is not limited, to our visiting linemen, FEMA, SBA, the American Red Cross, whom many of us now refer to as honorary Virgin Islanders.
And “yes,” we cannot forget the many Virgin Islanders throughout the United States and abroad who were able to have their presence felt at home even in their absence. Whose contributions and well wishes were greatly appreciated. All of you, individually and collectively, sure put new meaning to the phrase Virgin Islands Nice… and I thank you!
In all this, I must extend special thanks to the St. Thomas Federal Credit Union for their members solution program. What a solution it was, especially to me and my family. Surviving one category 5 storm and within two weeks another, whether we lost it all or not in either storm, we had to have experienced some type of damage, of some sort. The need for available cash during this time was very essential to all of us. Whether for food, generator, gas for generator, material to sure up our homes or one’s basic survival needs, having the availability to easy access money in this time of need speaks volumes. I, wholeheartedly, publicly thank the St. Thomas Federal Credit Union for putting its members first. You have proven without a doubt that “we” your members, are indeed important to you as an establishment; especially when we needed you most. Thank you!
Shirley M. Sadler, St. Thomas