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Grenadians celebrate independence

February 8, 2023

Grenada celebrated its 49th anniversary of political independence from Britain on Tuesday, with the traditional military parade and both government and opposition eyeing the golden anniversary next year.

In his inaugural Independence Day message, Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell acknowledged that the journey since gaining independence in February 1974 has not been easy but urged Grenadians to continue collaborating on the way forward.

“The long march from colonialism to independence, and the multifaceted challenges we continually face as the descendants of slaves, remain a thorn underfoot. Yet still, we push forward, because, like our fore parents, we understand that no one can speak to our causes, or fight our battles for us, better than we can,” Mitchell said.

Speaking on the theme “The Journey to 50: Reflecting on the Past, Planning for the Future,” Mitchell, who led the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to power in the June 23 general election last year,  said that his administration is committed to the vision for Grenada that fore parents envisioned.

Grenadians braved the inclement weather to gather at the Kirmani James Athletic Stadium on Tuesday (CMC Photo)

He told the nation in the radio and television broadcast that the vision is a progressive society where every individual can enjoy a high quality of life, with adequate access to quality healthcare and education, peaceful and safe streets, first-class housing, green energy, and a deeper appreciation for the many benefits of our fertile lands, pristine environment, and rich culture.

“This is an aspiration that we know all Grenadians share and one that we are confident can be achieved, with the right foundations in place and the will of our people to support the transformative process that will bring these shared goals to fruition,” said Prime Minister Mitchell.

He said Grenada’s history and the progress that has been achieved in these 49 years, commands great pride, nationally, regionally, and internationally, for the many accomplishments realized despite our small size and limited resources.

“The ingenuity and perseverance of the Grenadian people are our superpowers, as can be witnessed in the numerous examples of Grenadians who left humble beginnings and continue to rise to the very top of their fields and to greatness here at home and in countries around the world. As we look back on our history, we take pride in all that we have accomplished but we also recognize that there is still much work to be done,” he said.

Focusing on the “Journey to 50 and Beyond”, Prime Minister Mitchell said “we are inspired by the initiatives shown by so many Grenadians to contribute to building our shared future, whether it be in the form of advice, community development, or strengthening families, schools, and non-profit agencies,” he said.

“As in a family, so in a nation; one generation works hard to ensure a better future for the next. We have made significant progress in these 49 years, and I am confident that if we pool the talent of all, at home and in the Diaspora, our beloved Grenada will continue to march ahead on the path of progress, securing its rightful place in the global community,” said the Prime Minister.

Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Mitchell in his message said the island had much to be proud of, as it moved towards the 50th anniversary of political independence.

“The contributions and achievements of our brothers and sisters in areas such as sports, culture, academia, and diplomacy are well documented locally, regionally, and internationally. So too, are our economic development gains and our trademark resilience as a people.

“Our beloved country has recorded significant progress over the last four decades. Brothers and Sisters, our path has never been an easy one. Though the challenges have been many, we continue to soldier on tirelessly through it all, triumphant and proud,” said Mitchell, who was once among the longest serving heads of government in the Caribbean.

He said as the country looks towards the future “we must continuously set our sights on overcoming the adversities that threaten to derail our development agenda; safeguarding the livelihoods of our people as they seek to empower themselves and protecting our collective future through conscientious decision-making.

“Therefore, I urge one and all, to embrace unity as the beacon that will successfully guide this ship, our beloved nation, towards sustainable development. My vision for our country is to see a successful nation where all can dwell in love and, live in peace and harmony with each other. Grenada is our homeland, therefore let us aspire to build and advance as one people,” he added.

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