My wife, Cecile, and my family join me in extending best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving to one and all. We are pleased to share the spirit of the holiday with all the people of the Virgin Islands. Indeed, we join with all of our fellow Americans in giving thanks for the many blessings we enjoy.
On this holiday, let us all pause and reflect on the bonds of family and friendship. Let us also stop and offer our deep gratitude to the service men and women who are this day and every day engaged in the fight for our freedom far away from their homes and loved ones. We pray for the day these troops will be safely returned to their families.
On this Thanksgiving Day, we are also thankful that our islands have been spared the ravages of hurricanes and other natural disasters. The effects of Hurricane Omar served as a reminder to us all of the need to be thankful each time we are spared the full impact of such disasters.
We are also thankful for the outcome of the national elections which represent a milestone in our Nation’s history. While there are tremendous challenges confronting us as a people, we are filled with hope and optimism that by working together, we will prevail.
We give thanks for the blessing of living in a loving community, one of brotherhood and pride, one that strives to welcome all to its benefits, and one that holds to the belief that all must be made to feel included, that all should live in safety and in peace. Our community has traditionally embraced this holiday as a time to reach out to those in need.
Let this Thanksgiving Day be no different as we open our hearts, kitchens and homes to others, and most especially to those less fortunate than ourselves.