Home News Local news HELLO SUNSHINE, HELLO 2000

HELLO SUNSHINE, HELLO 2000

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A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity drew a small but appreciative crowd to Point Udall early Saturday to view the first sunrise of the new millennium.
The ususal cast of government dignitaries was at the easternmost point of the U.S. in the western hemisphere for the final event of the V.I. government’s millennium celebration. Braving a brisk easterly wind, Gov. Charles Turnbull, Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James II and Rep. Mark Udall, nephew of the man the point is named after, former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, watched 20 doves released and the V.I. and U.S. flags raised as the sun peeked above the horizon.
With them were perhaps 150 people, far less than the 600 to 800 predicted by the Millennium Committee members. Making up for the rather sparse turnout was the enthusiasm of those who made the effort to get to the point and watch the first sunrise of 2000.
"It’s unique, exciting, tremendous," said St. Croix resident Peter Ghirawoo, as he and seven members of his family, representing three generations, watched the sun ascend into the sky. "It’s just a privilege to come up here."
On Friday Anthony DeGourville blew conch shells as the sun went down in Frederiksted, marking the close of millennium events in on the west end. Early Saturday DeGourville was out east to greet the new sunrise.
"I had to make it my business to see it up," he said. "It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event. It was nice. I give the people a lot of credit for putting such a nice event on."
Colorado's Rep. Udall, meanwhile, said his visit to St. Croix will cause him to become an advocate of the territory in Congress. The impetus behind his decision came during an unlikely event: while he was participating in the record-breaking attempt of the electric slide dance in Frederiksted on Friday.
"I took a step back to look and there was every race represented," Udall said. "I’ll return as an advocate of the people of the Virgin Islands. I’ll take the word back that the people here are Americans."

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