Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said slavery was unforgivable, when he spoke on Friday, Mach 31st, at the Transfer Centennial Ceremony in Christiansted, St. Croix (U.S. Virgin Islands). Upcoming centennial events include a Centennial Gala Ball on April 2 at Renaissance Carambola Beach Resort and Spa, St. Croix, and various appearances throughout the upcoming month by Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir. A Transfer Day Symposium will be held May 12 in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; and on June 9 there will be a Centennial Summit with the topic “Where Do Where Are We Going from Here” in Frederiksted, St. Croix.
[At Transfer Centennial Ceremony, Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen] said the true heroes of those “dark days” were the “men and women of the Virgin Islands who defied suppression. They risked their lives so others could be free.” [. . .] “They were not given their freedom; they took it,” he told the crowd of several hundred people who gathered at Christiansted’s Fort Park for the Transfer Day ceremony.
[. . .] The prime minister had also said, “We have to free ourselves from the nightmare of the past so we can make our dreams come true in the future.” He mentioned a new program for the Virgin Islands that Denmark will implement. Details of the program were to be announced Saturday.
Another topic that was mentioned by several speakers at the ceremony was the struggle by Virgin Islanders to have the right to vote for the president. Pamela Richards, chairwoman of the Virgin Islands Transfer Day Committee said, “Do we deserve the right to vote for the United States chief executive? Yes.”
Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett gave a brief history of the original Transfer Day, 100 years ago. “The people of the Virgin Islands were forgotten before the sale and they were forgotten again after the sale,” she said.
[. . .] In March 1917 the Danish West Indies were formally ceded to the United States by Denmark in exchange for $25 million dollars. The islands represented a foothold in the Caribbean for the U.S. Navy, and were considered a base to guard the Panama Canal. [. . .]