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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett (USVI)

For Immediate Release                             Contact: Michael J. McQuerry
November 11, 2020                                                       202-215-8524



St. Croix, USVI – Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett released the following statement in commemoration of Veterans Day, which is observed every year on November 11th:

“Today, is a day we share our deep and longstanding appreciation for the service and sacrifice of Virgin Islands veterans and their families; and celebrate the brave men and women who have served our country in uniform, past, present, and those who will in the future. To all who have put their lives on the line in our defense, thank you. To those who have died, we honor and respect you.

“Many Americans will take time to think about the sacrifices that you, our veterans have made and continue to make, and reflect on the freedoms and rights that this great country owes you. I recognize and respect the challenges and difficulties that you encounter daily. While we spend this day honoring your service, it is crucial that we push forward in our commitment to ensure you have what you so rightly deserve.

“This year, 2020, marked another national election that did not include votes of many of our Virgin Islands Veterans. Four million. That’s how many Americans the US Census Bureau estimates live in the territories of the United States. Millions of them are of voting age. Many are veterans or active military. But still, we cannot vote to elect our commander in chief. The restrictions on your and my ability to vote is an everyday reality for U.S. Virgin Islanders due to the mere fact that we lack voting representation not only in Presidential elections but also on the floor of both houses of Congress.

“As your Representative in the United States Congress, I promise to continue my fierce advocacy for the fair and equal voting rights for citizens in U.S. territories. Our Veterans and our citizens deserve the right to vote for the Commander and Chief and participate in our nation’s democracy.

“We are also acutely aware of the difficulties the pandemic continues to cause. To that end, we have been working with the Veterans Affairs Committee to ensure that adequate funding was included for Veterans under the CARES Act. Under the CARES Act, we received a grant to end homelessness for Veterans. I continue to address the needs of Veterans by gathering support for my legislation to offer a tax credit to small businesses that hire a member of the national guard and ready reserve. In addition, my office has had active discussions with the VA Caribbean Healthcare system in conjunction with our local hospitals to ensure that healthcare needs don’t go unmet. But today is not about us:

Maya Angelou once said. ‘How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes. Today we recognized three individuals:

●      Oscar R. James Sr. – St. John

●      Romeo A. Malone – St. Thomas (Eldest known Veteran on ST Thomas at age 97)

●      Abraham Hewitt – St. Croix (Eldest known Veteran on St Croix and the territory at age 98).

“There’s no way to adequately thank you and all of our veterans for everything you have sacrificed for our freedom, but on November 11th Veterans Day, we have to try. Not only should we thank the military this Veterans Day, but we should strive to thank them and their families throughout the year for the vital service they perform for our country. Thank you for your service and sacrifice!”