Happy Independence Antigua and Barbuda
Today, we celebrate our 42nd Anniversary of Political Independence under the theme: “Embracing the Legacy, Shaping the Future”. We thank God for his mercies over these 42 years and commit ourselves to nation-building and service as we shape the future.
We remember a legacy of slavery and colonialism – a legacy of impoverishment.
Though we accept that as a part of our legacy, we must not let it retard our enthusiasm for working hard to carve out a future free of backward-looking thoughts of fear and repression.
Antiguans and Barbudans have a legacy of resilience, and that must be fully embraced as we strive to build a nation where truly each can endeavour and all can achieve.
We have a legacy of commitment to family and community but somewhere along, we have lost our way. It is time to recommit to building resilient families and communities and by extension, a resilient nation.
In shaping the future, I call on the political directorate to work assiduously to bridge the widening wealth gap between the rich and the poor.
We must work together to solve our nation’s problem of unemployment and underemployment. We must work together to solve the myriad of economic and social issues plaguing our beloved nation.
We can shape a bright and prosperous future if we denounce the political, economic and social divisiveness that permeates our nation today. We can shape a bright and prosperous future if we embrace integrity & transparency.
We can shape a bright and prosperous future if we fight as one to stamp out partisanship and corrupt practices which threaten to destroy our beloved nation.
We can shape a bright and prosperous future if we improve on our conflict resolution skills and tolerance for diverse views.
We can shape a bright and prosperous future if we become more compassionate and caring, particularly for the vulnerable in our society. And, most of all, we must fully embrace that out of two we must become one nation – together, stronger, richer.
Let us strive to create a new and positive legacy for generations to come. And especially today, let us celebrate the magnificent black, gold, blue, white and red.
Happy 42nd Anniversary of Political Independence to all citizens and residents of Antigua and Barbuda and special greetings to the residents of the St. John’s Rural West constituency. May God bless Antigua and Barbuda.