Today is a day of celebration. It is also a day for earnest reflection.
Those of us old enough to remember when we attained Independence in 1979, will also know the occasion was not without its challenges.
On this day we can all look back with pride, keeping in mind our Founding Fathers who dared to dream of an Independent Saint Lucia.
As proud citizens of Saint Lucia, and for the benefit of future generations, it is our duty to honour this great legacy.
As we reflect on this journey we must also keep in mind the things that bind us together: our faith, our values, our community, our shared accomplishments, our families.
Together as one nation, we have achieved much. But we must admit there have been times when it seemed we had lost sight of our goals; our aspirations. We started to see ourselves as victims and in the process gave up control of our own destiny. Instead of sticking together as a small island threatened by a new world order, we permitted ourselves to turn on one another. To tear each other down.
Only by standing together in pursuit of a common cause; only by holding on to our faith in ourselves, in our values, will we find the strength to take care of our country. Let us demonstrate, to ourselves and others, that we have not lost our ability to love, to care for one another as Saint Lucians.
Let us also stop blaming others; let us instead acknowledge our own shortcomings. Only then will we be able to begin overcome them.
There is still a lot of work to be done in the areas of crime, education, health care, agriculture, housing, environment, and in the eradication of poverty.
But I am more confident, now more than ever before that together we will solved these problems.
As a grown up nation of 40, we need to be bold and confident, to be disciplined, family-oriented, show maturity and above all remain humble.
On this 40th Anniversary of our Independence, let us as Saint Lucians make a solemn pledge to turn over a new leaf. Recognizing our ability as a small country to compete with the rest of the world.
When people think of Saint Lucia we must be seen as innovators, a country of excellence, a nation that is peaceful and God-fearing.
Let us get “All In”.
Let us aspire to build a better Saint Lucia, so Saint Lucia can inspire the world.
I once again wish all Saint Lucians, at home and abroad, Happy 40th Anniversary.
May God bless you all, and may God continue to bless Saint Lucia.🇱🇨