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Governor John P. de Jongh Jr. has signed a proclamation designating September 11, 2013 as “National Day of Service and Remembrance” in the Virgin Islands to honor the courage and heroism of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
That day, the American people endured the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil in the nation’s history. In response to this tragedy, Americans across the country and its territories came together in a remarkable spirit of patriotism and unity and carried out countless acts of kindness, generosity, and compassion. Community organizations and family members of 9/11 victims began observing the anniversary of September 11th as a charitable service day to honor the memory of those who were lost and those who united in response to the tragedy, including first-responders and volunteers.
“The horrific events of September 11th deeply impacted the people of the Virgin Islands. That day inspired many of us, like it did Americans across the country, to answer the barbarity of terrorism by doing some positive to serve and improve our communities,” de Jongh said.
The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, approved by Congress and enacted into law on April 21, 2009, requested September 11th be observed and recognized as an annual National Day of Service and Remembrance and charged the Corporation for National and Community Services with leading this nationwide effort.
“Participating in service and remembrance activities on September 11th is a positive and respectful way to remember the lives of those lost, pay tribute to those who rose in service, and honor those who continue to serve our country today, including veterans, soldiers, military families, and first responders,” the proclamation reads.
A wide range of nonprofits, faith-based and community groups, public agencies, educational institutions, and private businesses are organizing National Day of Service and Remembrance activities across the nation.
On September 11, 2013, and on the days leading up to and following this day, Virgin Islanders have an opportunity to participate in activities that honor 9/11 victims and heroes by joining together in service projects to meet community needs.
De Jongh said he is pleased to be joining with members of the American Legion District Number 10 on St. Croix Wednesday for a commemoration ceremony and freedom walk. “Although the events of 9/11 occurred thousands of miles from the Virgin Islands – in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania—our community was in no way immune to the tragedy.”
He called upon the territory’s residents to honor the lives and memories of those lost by participating in community service and remembrance ceremonies on this day and throughout the year.