I had prepared a blog post for today, the first anniversary of Hurricane Dorian. In it, I described the depth of pain and loss suffered by so many, and the struggles and frustrations faced by Abaconians over the past year.  

But you know what? Today is not the day for that.

Today, we remember and honour the lives lost, including those whose names or fates we will never know. We send love and condolences to all who knew and loved them. They will never be forgotten.

Today, we recognize the generosity of the helpers, thousands of individuals and organizations who’ve donated relief and building supplies, raised funds or showed up to help with recovery and rebuilding. Please know that the vast majority of progress achieved in Abaco to date would not have been possible without you, and that Abaconians, and all who love them, are grateful beyond words for your continuing kindness and compassion.   

Today, we honour the survivors who refuse to let Dorian break them. Mentally and physically exhausted, they soldier on, steadfast and certain that their efforts will bear fruit.To our family members and friends in Abaco, please know that your tenacity, your ability to overcome obstacles and your unshakeable faith in the future of Abaco are awe-inspiring. Your ancestors would be proud.  

Today, we give thanks for the lives spared. We celebrate post-Dorian engagements, marriages and babies — all welcome glimpses of normality. We recognize those of you who have found ways to embrace change, to build new lives and businesses, to walk paths you might never have otherwise imagined. And to those whose paths have led them to settle elsewhere, we send love and best wishes. You are missed.

In the days ahead, I’ll share more about how Tom and I hope to help with Abaco’s recovery. But for today, please join us in honouring the souls lost, thanking those who’ve stepped up to help, and celebrating those who are fighting to rebuild their lives.  

If you’d like to help Abaco recover and rebuild, here’s how.  

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