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HomeNewsArchivesGovernor Will Present Hamilton Awards Tuesday During V.I. Day in Washington

Governor Will Present Hamilton Awards Tuesday During V.I. Day in Washington

Feb. 20, 2008 — The governor will present Alexander Hamilton Awards to two U.S. senators Tuesday, which the Washington, D.C., city council has proclaimed Virgin Islands Day in the nation's capital.
Gov. John P. deJongh Jr. will present the awards for distinguished public service to U.S. Sens. John D. Rockefeller IV and Orrin G. Hatch, according to a Government House news release. The governor said their public careers reflect the finest qualities of Hamilton, a founding father and a Crucian.
"These Senate leaders have dedicated their careers to families and children, including Virgin Islanders who have directly benefited by their concern for the underrepresented," deJongh said.
West Virginia Democrat Jay Rockefeller is in his fourth term in the Senate. He previously served as that state's governor. He currently chairs the Select Committee on Intelligence, and serves as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee's subcommittee on health care. His family's philanthropy is responsible for the St. John National Park, and he has retained a personal interest in the welfare of the people of St. John, the release said.
Utah Republican Orrin Hatch has been in the Senate since 1976. He has served as chairman of the Judiciary Committee and as a member of the Senate Finance Committee, where he is currently the senior Republican on the health-care subcommittee. He is personally credited with the creation of the generic drug industry. Hatch has taken a strong interest in the life of Alexander Hamilton on St. Croix, the release said.
"Alexander Hamilton's childhood in the Virgin Islands was fundamental to his writing skills, his political philosophy, his economic and financial acumen, and his steadfast opposition to slavery," deJongh said. "Without Hamilton, there would be no America, and without St. Croix, there is a good chance that America would not have had Alexander Hamilton."
Hamilton, the first secretary of the Treasury, has been credited with creating the American banking system, the Coast Guard and America's oldest newspaper, and with publication of most of the Federalist Papers. His image is on the $10 bill. He was killed in 1804 in a duel with Aaron Burr.
The territory's government initiated the Alexander Hamilton Award for Distinguished Public Service in 2006. The first awards were presented that year to Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho).
The selection committee, appointed by the governor, includes Ambassador Terrence Todman; Delegate Donna M. Christensen; George Dudley, president of the University of the Virgin Islands; Laverne Ragster, UVI professor emeritus; historian Marilyn Krigger; and Robert A. Johnson, member of the St. Croix Historical Society and chairman of the committee.
The criteria for selection, as adopted by the selection committee, are intellectual brilliance, outstanding leadership, outstanding love of country, honor and commitment to democracy and concern for the underrepresented, according to the release.
The governor thanked Jack Evans, president pro tempore of the Washington council, for designating Feb. 26 V.I. Day.
"Jack Evans, one of the District's most thoughtful and progressive city council members, has once again introduced legislation honoring the Virgin Islands," deJongh said. "We will always be grateful for his friendship to the territory."
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