The Veterans Day celebration in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a collaborative effort between the VI Office of Veterans Affairs and American Legion District 10, marked a significant day of remembrance on Saturday. With ceremonies held concurrently on St. Thomas and St. Croix, the islands came together to pay homage to their veterans, ensuring their valor and sacrifices are remembered and honored for future generations.
In Frederiksted, St. Croix, a waterfront ceremony paid tribute to three notable veterans, each a symbol of unwavering commitment to both the nation and the Virgin Islands. Major General (Ret.) Renaldo Rivera of St. Croix, MSG (Ret.) Wilburn E. Hendricks of St. Thomas, and Frank “Jimmy” Powell Jr. of St. John were the esteemed honorees.
Major General Renaldo Rivera, a respected figure in military circles, completed 35 years of service, including his tenure as the 12th Adjutant General of the United States Virgin Islands, starting in March 2007. His educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement Administration, complemented by extensive military training.
Wilburn Elric Hendricks, hailing from St. Thomas, blended his military career with his musical talents, serving as an Army musician. His dedication extended beyond the military to a 37-year career with the US Postal Service, while also serving in the Virgin Islands National Guard for over 27 years.
Frank “Jimmy” Powell Jr., a veteran of the United States Army, served from 1965 to 1967, including a tour in Vietnam, where he earned several medals. His service continued upon his return, contributing 20 years to the Virgin Islands Police Department.
Patrick D. Farrell, Director of the V.I. Office of Veterans Affairs, shared his lifelong connection to these ceremonies and commended the community for its strong participation. “These parades have been a part of my life since childhood, reflecting our enduring commitment to honoring our veterans,” Farrell noted, expressing his appreciation for the community’s involvement.
Congress Delegate Stacey E. Plaskett highlighted the profound influence of Virgin Islands veterans, recognizing them as integral members and inspirations within the community. “Our veterans, coming from diverse backgrounds, have not only safeguarded our freedoms but have significantly enriched our community. They are the pillars of our society,