Anyone watching the transfer and placement of the Seaman’s Memorial Statue yesterday morning surely felt a sense of national pride.
The statue of two sailors evokes the emotions that should well up in us as we remember the heroes – everyday men and women – who built up this country.
The statue dubbed Tradition had been sited at Harbour Drive in George Town, but was moved yesterday as part of the 2007 National Heroes Day activities on 22 January.
Along with the two sailors, the memorial carries the names of more than 450 Caymanians who lost their lives at sea.
Ours is a proud heritage of men who supported their families by leaving their homes and going out to sea.
It is fitting that the statue be given a place of honour in Heroes Square so that all can see it when we gather to recognize our heroes later this month.
Minister Alden McLaughlin vows 2007 National Heroes Day will mark a renaissance of the event started in 2003 while we were celebrating our 500th year after Christopher Columbus found us tucked away in the Caribbean Sea.
We hope his words ring true.
The celebration of our founding and our national heroes in 2003 was a magnificent event.
We have recognized National Heroes Day since 2003, but it’s been without all the pomp and circumstance we experienced then.
This year’s event looks like it’s going to be right on par with the 2003 celebration.
A brass band is being brought in from Battle Creek, Michigan; and this is no ordinary brass band. It’s filled with noted, famed and elite musicians from throughout the world.
Performances will also come from Dance Unlimited, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Band, a choir of 100 children from combined schools and the infamous North Side Kitchen Band.
Dignitaries from throughout the island will be on hand and the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honour will be given to those who wish to receive them on the day.
It’s only right that we put the celebration of our National Heroes Day back in the spotlight.
The Legislative Assembly in 1993 passed the National Heroes Law, providing for the declaration of persons who have rendered exceptional service, as national heroes.
Join us on 22 January to remember those heroes and celebrate their contributions to this country.
And remember this year’s theme – ‘National Heroes Day: It’s about who we are.’
Indeed, it is.