Fellow Grenadians: On behalf of the National Democratic Congress, I wish to extend to you heartiest congratulations on this the 41st anniversary of our independence.
The raising of the Grenadian flag on Fort George at Midnight on February 6th gave us the power to manage our own affairs, including the resources that were and still are crucial to the shaping of our destiny.
The history of human civilisation shows that the struggle for genuine national independence is never an easy one. We must therefore be forever mindful of the very difficult road Grenada has travelled on its way to gaining freedom from our colonial masters.
And as we celebrate this milestone, we must pay tribute to those who championed our country’s right to stand on its own, to join the community of independent nations and to free ourselves from the colonial yoke.
We must remember and pay tribute, in particular, to Sir Eric Matthew Gairy, whom we all rightly consider as the father of our independence.
In the years since our independence much has been achieved. We have, through struggle and continued vigilance, established a foundation that will serve us well as we move forward. At the same time, as a people, we have missed many opportunities to take up the mantle and build on the foundation that was provided for us on February 7th 1974.
At 41 years old as a nation, our young people are still seeking the leadership that will challenge them to be creative, to find solutions that are truly home grown and to begin to play a meaningful role in Grenada’s future.
We must therefore resolve, in this period, to harness the talents and aspirations of all our people to move our country forward for the benefit of all our citizens. After all, our human resource is our greatest asset and must be put to good and productive use for our collective benefit.
It is our hope that as we celebrate, we will take some time to reflect on our successes, our challenges and the ideals and values that make us who we are.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we cannot lose sight of the fact that this country is ours. It is therefore crucial that we each take personal responsibility for ensuring that we do better and achieve more.
Our resolve must be urgent and our commitment firm. We must work together, despite our differences, in a spirit of mutual respect to provide and expand opportunities for our people to learn, to earn and to become prosperous.
Our patriotism must be year round, not just in February. Our colours must first show in our attitude to family, to community and to country as we stand shoulder to shoulder to work hard, to produce and to enjoy the benefits of our country’s success.
The National Democratic Congress salutes the people of our tri-island state as we celebrate the historic milestone of 41 years as an independent nation.
On behalf of our party, I wish every Grenadian, at home and in the Diaspora, a happy independence day.
We look forward to working together as we aspire, build, advance and achieve as one people.
Thank you and May God bless our nation.