BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Kittitians and Nevisians, both at home and abroad, are taking time today to celebrate National Heroes Day to reflect on the lives and contributions of five great men, whose selfless and dedicated work throughout the course of their lives have helped to shape St. Kitts and Nevis into the shining example of prosperity, freedom and democracy that is enjoyed today.
The National Honours Act was enacted by Parliament in 1996 to honour individuals recognized to have had the greatest contribution to the country’s advancement.
That honour has since been placed on five outstanding sons of the soil: 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.
Wednesday’s Observance Ceremony was attended by His Excellency the Governor General, Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton; Dr. the Rt. Excellent and Rt. Honourable Sir Kennedy Simmonds and Lady Simmonds; Members of the Federal Cabinet, family members of the nation’s five national heroes who laid wreaths at the feet of the five statues at the National Heroes Park; school children and a wide cross section of the society.
“We celebrate today, a day set aside to commemorate the noble, patriotic, and selfless contributions of our great forbearers,” said Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris in his commemorative remarks during the annual National Heroes Day Observance Ceremony held at the historic National Heroes Park. “We celebrate them with a deep and reverent honour, sober in the knowledge and conscious comprehension, that without their strength and resilience, their ingenuity and sacrifices individually and collectively, there would be no us today – children standing free.”
The honourable prime minister noted that there are many other great unsung heroes who have contributed to the tremendous achievements St. Kitts and Nevis as a young nation, noting that, “these five have been exalted above the rest of the citizenry because of their extraordinary contributions made, and sacrifices borne for the advancement of the cause of an independent St. Kitts and Nevis.”
Prime Minister Harris further noted that the responsibility now rests on the shoulders of all of us to guide and raise up the next generation of heroes.
“Those of us in the late summer and fall of our lives are the bridge between that great generation and the one that will succeed us,” said Hon. Dr. Harris. “We have the example and inspiration of our forbears, coupled with the cause of and duty to our successors. We are indeed well armed to succeed, and succeed we shall, by the Grace of God.”