Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 20, 2022 (SKNIS): Monday’s (September 19, 2022) return of the Ceremonial Independence Day Parade was a welcome sight for the hundreds of persons living in St. Kitts and Nevis and in the diaspora. Hundreds witnessed the event in person at the Warner Park Cricket Stadium and others virtually through live stream via various platforms sharing congratulations on the 39th Independence anniversary, complimenting the government’s leadership and applauding the troops on parade.
Brendalie Herbert, a resident of Shadwell, and her four-year-old great-grandson Chris were in the stands at the stadium enjoying the display of military drills. She expressed pleasure that the ceremonial parade was held this year after being cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was very important for me to be here,” she said, waving a St. Kitts and Nevis flag excitedly as Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew and Governor-General’s Deputy, Her Excellency Marcella A. Liburd arrived for the parade. “I am very happy to be here to witness this special, special day with my great-grandson.”
At the age of four years, Chris has learnt the colours of the national flag and can understand a bit more of what is happening around him. When asked how he felt being at the parade, Chris said, “happy … because [we are] independent.” He was excited to see Prime Minister Dr. Drew as well as Cabinet Minister the Honourable Marsha Henderson.
Also in the stands at Warner Park was Terri-Ann Bahadur, a national of Jamaica living in St. Kitts for the past five years. She came to watch her two sons, who are members of the Explorers Group, on parade.
“I do believe where ever you live you should learn the culture and be a part of feeling proud as a black nation [celebrates] independence,” Terri-Ann stated. She added that she was “proud and overwhelmed with excitement” to see her 10-year-older son during the parade march past. Her younger son, Justin Harris, 7, came dressed in his uniform, ready to march. However, the Explorers’ leadership decided to have him support from the sidelines.
“I did hope to be on the field because I like marching,” Justin said. However, his disappointment was replaced with enthusiasm for his peers. “Good luck” he expressed to them with a broad grin on his face.
When his group marched by, he jumped out of his seat waving a St. Kitts and Nevis flag and cheering, joining in the celebration of the hundreds of citizens and residents around him.