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FYI: Sen. Richards Clarifies V.I. Anthem Amendment


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Jan. 10, 2006 – I write in regards to the Governor's veto of Bill No. 26-0189-To adopt the song "V.I." as the Territorial Song of the Virgin Islands, and the ensuing public debate of the bill's intent.
The amendment introduced by me, and sponsored by Senators Davis, Donastorg, Figueroa-Serville, Malone, Nelson, Russell and myself, was clearly not intended to replace the Virgin Islands Anthem as codified in the V.I. Code, more commonly referred to as the "Virgin Islands March", composed by Alton A. Adams, Sr.
The records of the Legislative Session on December 15, 2005 indicates the clear intent, as per my statement, "THANK YOU MADAM PRESIDENT. I JUST THINK THAT IT'S APPROPRIATE, WE HAVE A TERRITORIAL ANTHEM (sic V.I. March), A TERRIRTORIAL BIRD, A TERRITORIAL FLAG, A TERRITORIAL DANCE, A TERRITORIAL MUSIC, TERRITORIAL FLOWER, I BLEIEVE THIS WOULD BRING A LASTING IMPRESSION OF NOT ONLY OF THE MUSIC AND THE WORKS OF TREVOR NICHOLAS "NICK" FRIDAY, BUT ALSO THE BAND JAM BAND." I remain certain had the amendment attempted to repeal, delete or remove the particular section of the code adopting the Virgin Islands March as our "ANTHEM", there would not have been 14 members of the Legislature voting to approve such an act.
As one who has experienced the only arena where the Virgin Islands is recognized as a country, International Sports, I've come to learn the distinct difference between a Song and an Anthem. The experience of hearing our Virgin Islands Anthem being played in 1986 in Santiago, Dominican Republic, as Flora Hyacinth received the Gold Medal in the 400 Meter Hurdles during the Central American and Caribbean Games, the joy of victory as the V.I. Anthem was played at the Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championships, held on the island of St. Thomas in July of 2002, as the Virgin Islands Senior Men National Team captured the Gold Medal and our most recent triumph at the Caribbean Boxing Championships held in the summer of 2005 on St. Thomas.
I am particularly proud to be a Fiskite, 1977 Graduate of Fisk University, for "HER SONS AND DAUGHTERS ARE EVER ON THE ALTER". On May 7, 1978, Alton A. Adams received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Fisk University for his contributions, prior to the June 11, 1982 adoption of the Virgin Islands March as the VIRGIN ISLANDS ANTHEM.
Please be assured if there was some technical language included in the amendment that requires corrections it will be done. Furthermore, I am sure that neither my colleagues nor I intended to pay "allegiance" to the V.I. Song, as is done with the V.I. Anthem. In closing, I apologize for any confusion that may have arisen from this technical error.


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