October 25th is our National Thanksgiving Day. There are very good reasons why this Day was declared and is observed. The reasons for the “Liberation” of Grenada are many, but liberation it was. And while some opportunist elements would have our uninformed youth question this, while attempting to push their own selfish political agenda, the facts are that a bunch of murderous ideologically driven Communist thugs engaged in the worst political fratricide this country has ever seen. Mr. Arley Gill cannot change that fact, or anyone else for that matter.
It is also a matter of fact that those events were the culmination of a chain reaction that Mr. Bishop himself unleashed when he embarked on his own Political adventure against the albeit unpleasant Eric Gairy regime. Along the way “manners” and yes “murder” became part of the arsenal of Political tools employed by the “People’s Revolutionary Government” of Grenada to cower and subdue a defenseless unarmed populace. Its end was preordained.
I attended the Conference of Churches of Grenada National Thanksgiving Day Ecumenical Service at the St. Andrew, The Apostle Roman Catholic Church Grenville service. As far as I am aware, this was the only “Official Function” organised by the National Celebrations Committee.
The attendance though not overwhelming was reasonable. More so given the fact the Grenada Broadcast Corp. at its 7.45 a.m. newscast announced that there would be two functions that Day. The first at 9.00 a.m. organised by the Maurice Bishop Patriotic Movement, and led by the Cuban Ambassador, at the site of the barracks of the Cuban Construction workers.
This was to be followed by a ceremony at 10.00 a.m. at the St. George’s Cemetery to “honour Grenadian soldiers who died defending Grenada”, presumably the same soldiers who had six days earlier murdered the Prime Minister. Amazingly the News broadcast advised that the earlier function would be ‘led by the Ambassador of Cuba”. Cuba is a Country that vehemently opposes “interference” in the “Internal Affairs” of countries. What happened here?
Naturally I called GBN, spoke to Mr. Enos Mc Donald and told him that I had not heard correctly about the “celebratory” functions.
Helpfully, he repeated and thus confirmed his broadcast. When I questioned him about the only “Official” function that I was aware of, he advised that he had no knowledge of that. At approximately 7.40 a.m. Mr. Mc Donald again broadcast “that based on the information we have, there will be two functions at Point Saline’s, and St. George’s Cemetery etc.”
As if that were not enough, the Church Service begins in Grenville with a Hymn, as per the Order of Service, and then a Message by Hon. Gregory Bowen, Acting Prime Minister, followed by a message from Mr. Louis Crishock, U.S. Charge d’ Affairs. Inexplicably the Charge d Affair was first announced to give his message, and he did. Next up was our own Acting Prime Minister.
After a sharp shaking of Mr. Bowen’s head, an embarrassed looking Master of Ceremonies, announced to my utter shock, “that there would be NO message from Grenada. As such, the congregation was asked to stand and sing the National Anthem. What an unbelievable Diplomatic Snub. Grenada had No Message on Thanksgiving Day!
Surely a Politician of Mr. Bowen’s caliber and long experience could have said a few words at short notice, even if he was not given a prepared speech. At any rate, his name was down on the Programme, and in addition to the expected message he did deliver the 2nd reading, Lam. 3:18-24.
Thankfully the Homily was given by Capt. Keith Haughton, Pastor of the Salvation Army. What a Salvation it was.
Thank you, Captain Haughton, from the bottom of Grenada’s heart.
He reminded us that many of us may have different reasons for Giving Thanks, (Arley Gill take note) but we are “Thankful” for not having to go to sea in rickety boats and inner tubes, but we can leave Grenada in good boats if we want, when we want, and come back when we want! We can leave in Planes when we wish, and return when we wish.
We are Thankful for “Freedom of association”, the right to choose the Government of our choice”, Thankful for a “Free Press”, Thankful for Freedom of Religion, Thankful for freedom from imprisonment and Fear.
Yes we are Thankful. Thank you God, (and my words) Thank YOU USA!!!
There were a few Detainees there who no doubt are also Thankful for their own Freedom. Without October 25th many would have died in jail simply for expressing their views. Apart from Mr. Tillman Thomas, who no doubt as an ex-detainee, has much to be Thankful for; notably absent was anyone else identifiable as representing the NDC. Please NDC, your absence was noted, tell us why, or I will assume that you were attending one of the other functions!!!
I know that our current Prime Minister, maligned by the “Revolution” as a CIA spy and operative, would never have been Prime Minister were it NOT for October 25th. I make bold to say that he too has much to be Thankful for. Mr. Prime Minister, the magnitude of this snub cannot be underestimated; I trust that you will do all in your power to make this right, and soon too. In anticipation of this I thank you.
It has been said by some that we are an ungrateful people.
Unequivocally it would be fair to say that at the very least we suffer from chronic lapses of memory; so I share with you a quote by George Santayana, (Not anyone else!!) “The one who does not remember History, is bound to live through it again”!!
Or is this “Project Grenada” Unfolding?