It is with great reverence for the history of our Territory and people, that I join a proud Virgin Islands community in commemorating Emancipation Day which honors the ancestors and their commitment to liberty. July 3, 2022, marks the 174th Anniversary of the Emancipation of the African people in the Danish West Indies.

On this day, we celebrate the bravery, courage, and strength of our ancestors who rose up out of bondage to demand their freedom. Their legacy remains in our hearts and minds when we reflect on their fearless stance against the oppressive slave trade.

I often reflect on the acts of enslavement endured by those who came before us. By engaging in this type of reflection, I am encouraged by their sacrifices and treasure their commitment to obtaining their freedom. This journey is not one that can ever be overlooked, forgotten, or diminished. Their quest for freedom required unwavering resilience and formidable perseverance.

My gratitude is bestowed onto our ancestors, who paved the way for the liberties that we enjoy today, even though we continue to face acts of injustice and issues that impact our well being as a society. We must continue to hold fast to the revolutionaries, heroes, and sheroes whose efforts for liberation offer hope and are a part of our unique history.

We remember and honor trailblazers of this endeavor such as General Buddhoe and our Fireburn Queens, Mary, Agnes, and Mathilda for their fearless vision.

As Virgin Islanders, we are guided by the bold, unwavering, and deep-rooted legacy of our ancestors. May we lift them up for their actions taken on July 3, 1848 and do our part to come together and keep hope and faith alive for future generations to come.

Happy Emancipation Day!