Grenada, the lone English-speaking country in the Eastern Caribbean to have experienced a change of government through military action and the first in the sub-region OECS grouping to have attained political independence under Sir Eric Matthew Gairy on February 7th, 1974, is now of age.
The country has now attained 42 years of independence with the main highlight being the Independence Military parade at Queen’s Park.
In his near 25 minutes Independence Day address to his countrymen, sitting Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell called for the removal of political, religious, petty and personal differences from the decision-making process on matters of national interest.
Dr. Mitchell said that as the country moves forward the need to unite as one people has definitely become more apparent and necessary.
“Unity will be the fuel that will sustain us all. It is unity that will allow us the ability to rise against pettiness and divisiveness,” he added.
Prime Minister believes the independence anniversary is an opportune time and occasion to challenge all citizens to recommit themselves to working for the national good by tapping into the spirit of that “Grenadianess,” resilience, hard work, and genuine love for each other.
He stated that Independence Day has become a day of gratitude, reflection, hope, and one of celebration.
Dr. Mitchell stressed that the darkness under which Grenada gained independence on that historic night 42 years ago amidst political rumblings is long gone.
He said the island has now risen above the toughest of times with the onslaught of Hurricane Ivan in 2004, and noted the strides made by a number of people in their personal successes.
“Grenada’s footprints in the world is larger than our 133 square miles,” he remarked.
In his Prayer of Dedication to the Nation, Reverend John Lewis called for healing, repentance and reconciliation in the land.
Chairperson of the National Celebrations Committee, Ann-Marie Marecheau said the independence anniversary is a time to express gratitude to all of the country’s Leaders who have worked feverishly to build the nation.
The customary military parade was held under the command of Superintendent of Police, John Mitchell and comprised six armed units along with the Girl Guides, Scouts, St. John’s Ambulance Brigade, Cadet Corp, and the Police Boys Club.
The Independence Day rally saw the presentation of a number of National Awards, and a cultural display being the highlights of the 42nd independence anniversary celebrations held last Sunday at the National Cricket Stadium.
Prior to the official start of proceedings at Queen’s Park, the gathering were treated to an artistic and colourful display led by Police Constable McLean, the Drum Major of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) Band.
The crowd was also treated to a special display that was put on by the newly formed Martial Arts Unit of the police force with training from China.
In celebration of the country’s 42nd independence anniversary, the Special Services Unit and the female platoon of the parade conducted a special display by presenting two wine glasses with their rifles toasting to Grenada.
The theme for this year’s Independence Anniversary was, “Striving Towards Our Destiny With Faith And Courage As One People.”