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(V. I. Consortium) ST. CROIX — As the Virgin Islands of the United States realized 100 years together, the territory’s leaders, along with Washington representatives and the prime minister of Denmark — whose ancestors sold the territory to the U.S. in 1917 for $25 million in gold — on Friday expressed a balance of celebration and commemoration that marked the event, as leaders remembered the atrocities that had befall Virgin Islanders under the heavy hands of their then-Danish masters, while expressing gratitude for the benefits that came along with being under the U.S. flag.

To be sure, there was no lack of criticism of the U.S.’s treatment of its territories, whose citizens are limboed in an undesirable place, unable to vote for president of the United States even as the territories’ children give their lives in service willingly under the American flag.

Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett, Senate President Myron Jackson, Centennial Chairperson Pamela Richards, and Governor Kenneth Mapp all made it a point to highlight the sacrifices made by Virgin Islanders for the U.S., while be unable to enjoy the nation’s most hallowed privilege: the right to vote.

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