Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 20, 2022 (SKNIS): The familiar sounds of the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force Band (SKNDF) and the belting out of commands by officers to troops on parade returned to the Warner Park Cricket Stadium on Monday, September 19, 2022, as the twin-island Federation observed its 39th Anniversary of Independence.
This year’s Ceremonial Independence Day Parade was particularly special for many as it marked the first time since 2019 that the parade was held. It was suspended in 2020 and 2021 as authorities sought to control the spread of the deadly COVID-19 disease. Monday’s parade also was the first for the new government headed by Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Terrance M. Drew. Prime Minister Dr. Drew and his Cabinet were elected on August 05, 2022.
A notable moment during the ceremony was the observance of a moment of silence in honour of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second. This was followed by a 21-gun salute in honour of His Majesty King Charles III.
The new Governor-General’s Deputy, Her Excellency Marcella A. Liburd, accompanied by Prime Minister Dr. Drew then inspected the troops on parade. Captain Carlos Garnett of the SKNDF Coast Guard Unit was the Parade Commander. The weather was perfect for the platoons made up of armed and unarmed units.
The armed units comprised soldiers of the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force Alpha and Bravo Company as well as the SKNDF Coast Guard Unit. Three separate platoons representing the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF) were next. First were officers from the Special Services Unit (SSU) wearing their serge uniforms. They were followed by a platoon of officers from Beat and Patrol and various outstations, and an all-female platoon of police officers. Members of the SKNDF Cadet’s Corps completed the armed units section.
Represented in the unarmed units were platoons from the St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services, His Majesty’s Prison, the Customs and Excise Department, St. Christopher Air and Sea Port Authority Police, traffic wardens, Pathfinders, Girl’s Brigade, and the Explorers.
After the inspection of troops, the men and women in the armed units marched past Her Excellency Liburd in slow time. The unarmed units and the SKNDF Band then joined the armed units in a quick time march past. At the end of the march, the troops gave three cheers to the nation.
The 39th Ceremonial Independence Day Parade was attended by senior government officials, members of the diplomatic and consular corps, other invited guests and hundreds of citizens and residents from all walks of life.