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MAPP: Memorial Day Is ‘Sacred’ In Virgin Islands … Military Service Began in Civil War

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CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Governor Kenneth Mapp encouraged the people of the Virgin Islands to remember the service men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice to this great nation by attending events commemorating Memorial Day.

Parades followed by brief ceremonies are planned for 9:30 a.m. Monday on St. Thomas and St. Croix. The parade route begins at Bassin Triangle in Christiansted and at Western Cemetery in Charlotte Amalie.

“As we honor the nation’s dearly departed military service members, I join with my fellow Americans in remembering those, who since the Revolutionary War, continue to preserve and protect the vital interest of the United States at home and across the world,” Governor Mapp said. “Let us seek God’s merciful grace on those now serving and proudly honor the memory of the fallen, not only on this national holiday, but every day.”

In his Memorial Day 2018 statement, Mapp noted the long relationship the territory has had with the U.S. military.

“There is documented evidence that men from the Danish West Indies fought in the battle of Gettysburg in 1863 more than 50 years before the transfer to the United States,” Mapp wrote. “During the Second World War, Virgin Islanders petitioned to be included in the draft and two units of Virgin Islanders, including two future governors, departed these shores to be a part of the United States Army. Today, scores of Virgin Islanders are stationed throughout the globe on Freedom’s watch.”

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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