BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, September 16, 2021 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris used the occasion of today, National Heroes Day, to issue a clarion call to all citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis, at home and abroad, to be true heroes to the twin-island Federation.
“To succeed in the herculean task of nation-building, we need the commitment to start, but perseverance to finish. Challenges may seem insurmountable; but we must remember, and know in our hearts, that heroism, true heroism, is not the absence of fear, or even failure. It is finding the courage to do what is needed, when needed most, in spite of the fears and doubting Thomases. It involves restarting, recommitting, and trying again after a failure. It is getting up one more time after being knocked down; because you know that a person, a family, a team, a community, a country, depends on your standing at that time and in that moment. Heroes rise from hardship. Heroes rise from calamity. Heroes rise from any threat to our progress and safety. Let us be the heroes our Nation needs today,” Prime Minister Harris said.
Dr. Harris was at the time delivering remarks at the annual National Heroes Day Ceremony at the National Heroes Park to honour the invaluable sacrifice and contributions to nation-building by five outstanding sons of the soil, namely: the late Right Excellencies Sir Robert L. Bradshaw, Sir C. A. Paul Southwell, Sir Joseph N. France and Sir Simeon Daniel, as well as the Right Excellent and Right Honourable Sir Kennedy A. Simmonds, the only living National Hero.
Prime Minister Harris used the example of the 1935 Buckley’s Uprising to reinforce his call for patriotism and heroism.
He said, “What began as a demonstration for better pay, grew into a call for workers’ rights, for cohesiveness and unionization, to a call for self-determination, to independence, not just here, but across the Caribbean. The demonstrators and those who gave their blood and lives, cannot see today the full fruits of their standing. It is our duty to remember, to respect, and to replicate if necessary, their heroic courage and sacrifice. To be fair to them, we must assess whether their struggles and resultant amelioration in workers’ conditions everywhere is sufficient for the leaders to be designated as National Heroes.”
The prime minister noted that the global COVID-19 pandemic has created a society where most have become more concerned with self. He however urged Kittitians and Nevisians to be better.
“We must all become the hero our nation needs now. Today, as we celebrate our National Heroes, and recognize the heroism of others, let us recommit ourselves to the oneness of purpose. The life and times of our national heroes remind us that at critical times we must put country above ourselves. That’s what the men and women did in Buckley’s Uprising. It was what Comrades France, Bradshaw and Southwell did. It was what Dr Daniel and Dr Simmonds did,” Prime Minister Harris said.