Dominica celebrates 39 years of political independence from Britain
ROSEAU – Hurricane battered Dominica is celebrating 39 years of political independence from Britain on Friday with Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit urging citizens not to be daunted by the task of rebuilding the island.
Hurricane Maria hit Dominica on September 18 as a Category 5 storm, killing at least 28 people and leaving billions of dollars in damage.
Unlike previous years when nationals were honoured for their contribution to the socio-economic development of the island, this year’s national awards ceremony has been postponed to next year.
In his address to the nation marking the independence celebrations, Skerrit said that Dominica ‘is still standing” despite facing the “fiercest floods, the most ferocious winds”.
“We are sorrow-stricken; we swallow hard, but it still catches in our throat; and we are still standing! Difficulties envelop every aspect of life, uncertainties swirl; and we are still standing! The outside world wondered aloud whether this is the kind of devastation from which you don’t recover. We are still standing.
“We, the children of Dominica, have shown the world that disaster is finite; but, hope is infinite! Maria stole everything money can buy, everything you can put a price on; but left what you cannot buy … that which is priceless! We will determine the value of those things through our actions in coming days and weeks. A moment comes, but rarely in history, when a nation’s soul is revealed”
He told the Independence Day rally at the Windsor Park Stadium attended by thousands of people that how the island responds to the storm “will define us, will make us; will become us”. (CMC)