CHARLESTOWN, Nevis - PREMIER Mark Brantley is of the view that the independence period should be used for reflection and introspection from whence the Federation came and its achievements.
In his National Address for the 37th Independence celebrations, Brantley paid tribute to the founding fathers of St. Kitts and Nevis who fought for the freedom that the nation enjoys today.
“An anniversary, by its very nature, is a time for much jubilation and celebrating. It is also an occasion for introspection, stock-taking and planning. This is routinely done on our birthdays, reunions and wedding anniversaries. On this, our nation’s birthday, it ought to be no different. Today should be seen as a time of self-reflection, meaningful engagement and dialogue. It should not only be a day of celebration and for donning of the national wear and colours, but it should also be a day when we remember the struggle of our fore-parents and the sacrifices that they made on our behalf.
“Today, I pay tribute to our fore-parents who toiled incessantly and suffered greatly for the cause of freedom. We, today, are the beneficiaries of their dreams and aspirations of a free and independent nation. Today we stand proudly on the shoulders of these giants who came before us and who, through their struggle, pain and suffering\ continue to inspire us,” Brantley explained.
The Foreign Affairs Minister stated that over the 37 years of independence, it has not been an easy road for St. Kitts and Nevis with the territory having had “our fair share of challenges, miscues and missteps”.
According to Premier Brantley, like many of the Federation’s neighbours, “we have had our struggles with destructive natural disasters, debilitating national debt, the scourge of crime and violence and presently, the dreaded Coronavirus”.
He however emphasised that those challenges did not diminish the territory’s successes and triumphs.
The Premier saluted and paid tribute to the frontline and essential workers who continue to provide diligent service to ensure that there is no spread of the virus in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Regrettably, brothers and sisters, we are celebrating this year’s independence in the throes of a pandemic that has tested us individually and collectively. We have been beaten on the anvil of selflessness and forged in the cauldron of sacrifice. Over the past months, as we battled this virus, I have seen and witnessed the best of our people. I have seen neighbours, families, friends and strangers giving a helping hand to those in need, offering comfort and support whenever they could. I have seen boundless kindness, generosity, solidarity and support in the midst of a crisis.”