Burke: ‘Our patriotism must be year round’

Following is the statement issued by the Political Leader of the National Democratic congress, Nazim Burke on the occasion of Grenada’s 42nd anniversary of Independence

Fellow Grenadians, on behalf of the National Democratic Congress, I wish to extend to you heartiest congratulations on this the 42nd anniversary of our Independence.

The raising of the Grenadian flag on Fort George at midnight on February 6th, 1974 gave us the power to manage our own affairs, including the resources that were and still are crucial to the shaping of our destiny.

In observation of 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 yoke of colonialism

In particular, we must remember and pay tribute 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 42 years old as a nation, there is still much to be done to ensure that the considerable talents and aspiration of our youth are harnessed to creatively find the solutions, both economically and socially, to move our country forward for the benefit of all our citizens.

As a nation, we must commit to producing our way to prosperity. We will only achieve this prosperity if we diligently pursue and extract from within our own circumstances and environment the resources, opportunities and energies that we require to advance as a nation. In short, if we embrace a spirit of self- reliance.

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. It must embody a selfless defense of our patrimony and our heritage, recognising that these are not commodities for sale in the marketplace.

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.

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.

The National Democratic Congress salutes the people of our tri-island state of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique as we celebrate the historic milestone of 42 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.

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