St. Kitts celebrates Independence
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, CMC – St. Kitts –Nevis Monday celebrates its 28th anniversary of political independence from Britain with the traditional military parade and Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas urging a positive future in an era of strong countervailing cultural events.
“Currents that we must, first, learn to spot, and then quickly brace ourselves to resist and withstand. Because these are the influences which, on a daily basis, are steadily shaping the minds, the attitudes, and the values of our nation,” Douglas said in an address to mark the occasion.
He told citizens that these influences affect not just the Federation’s children, but people of all ages to varying degrees, as they steadily change and adjust their perceptions of what is right and what is wrong, what is normal and what is not, what is acceptable and unacceptable, of what is, indeed, good.
“Key to any victory in this mammoth battle will be our self-respect. Because it is only those nations and peoples who respect themselves who can ever hope to discern what is acceptable and what is not what is tonic and what is toxic, what is friend and what is foe.
“And so, today, tomorrow, and beyond, we must make the effort to see patriotism not merely in terms of bunting, our anthem, and our flag, although they are all important and precious symbols of our nationhood, “he said.
The Prime Minister said that in a world gripped by racial and other hatred, “we are able to live in a country where peace abounds.
“Like you, I understand the value of living in a land in which, despite our political differences, despite our religious distinctions, despite whatever superficial details may distinguish us one from another, we have, and have long had, what the people in many countries are literally, and tragically dying to achieve.
“We see countries being torn asunder because their people have spent their entire lives without ever once having had a chance to vote. And so they now risk their lives in their hunger for the rights that National Heroes Bradshaw, Southwell, and France so valiantly secured for us all, so very long ago.
“And like you, I see neighbourhoods, drenched in blood because fathers, and brothers, and cousins were long ago hauled off by governments and locked away, out of the reach of spouses, out of the reach of friends, out of reach of their children, simply for having one political view or another, and for daring to express them.
We are, indeed blessed , blessed we are to live in a country where, in the words of our national anthem, our people do, indeed, “stand free,” Prime Minister Douglas said adding this “is a gift more precious than gold”.
He said in the midst of the dire conditions throughout the world “we can and must rejoice today that through planning and hard work, St. Kitts & Nevis has stayed afloat.
“It is a positive reflection on us all that this tiny nation that we call home has stayed the course. And so today I commend each and every one of the 50,000 Kittitians and Nevisians living at home, and the thousands living abroad who have helped to make our tiny nation the brave, competent, praise-worthy one that it is, in the sea of the six thousand million persons, struggling and striving, all around us.”