By Makeida Antonio
Scores of Government officials and family members of the country’s late national heroes were in attendance of a national event to celebrate November 1.
The National Heroes Day wreath laying ceremony was part of the calendar of events by the Antigua and Barbuda Festivals Commission in collaboration with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to commemorate the nation’s 40th Independence anniversary
Information Minister Melford Nicholas highlighted the importance of remembering those who spent a significant portion of their lives dedicated to nation building.
“This is an important event in regards to our national calendar. We have made this a part of our national set of events commemorating our Independence; every year we celebrate our national heroes, those past and those still alive,” Nicholas told Observer yesterday.
Nicholas shared that he is in attendance at a number of Independence activities annually to show respect to those whose work should never be forgotten.
“This year we only have one national hero that is still alive, that is Sir Vivian Richards, and of course, we would have parted company with the late Sir Lester Bird earlier this year. I make it my duty to be at each of these proceedings since I have been elected because it is important for us to recognise the contributions of persons who would have served us well, and upon whose shoulders our accomplishments stand,” he said.
Information Minister Nicholas has hope that people will look back at the last forty years and are inspired for many more years to come.
“I was but a boy, in my teens at the time of Independence and would have seen that Antigua would have traversed a number of challenges and we would have continued to build this country bit by bit, institution by institution. I think that the upcoming generation has a lot to look forward to, on account of the work that has been done over the last forty years.”
Additionally, Nicholas urged residents and CARICOM non-nationals to be a part of the country’s Independence celebrations.
“The very presence of a number of Caribbean nationals who have chosen to make Antigua and Barbuda their home is an indication that the country can sustain a high level and degree of standard of living, and I think the development work that the government is doing now in terms of additional infrastructure and potential for the upcoming and expanded economy, will be another contribution to that as well,” he said.
Chief of Staff Lionel Hurst echoed similar sentiments and expressed his pleasure in attending the event, indicating that the ceremony occurs annually and he was certainly delighted to celebrate those who would have made a significant contribution to Antigua and Barbuda.