Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A Grenadian Thanksgiving Day

From Caribbean Net News:Grenadians reflect on yet another historic day: October 25, 1983
ST GEORGE'S, Grenada: 22 years ago, on October 25, 1983, the people of Grenada witnessed a US-led intervention of a military force to restore order after Socialist Prime Minister Maurice Bishop was murdered. On Tuesday, Grenadians celebrated "Thanksgiving Day" a national holiday instituted to commemorate the anniversary of October 25.

A national religious service was held in the Bethel Bicentennial Hall at St. Paul's Cathedral in the capital, under the theme "Love Hope and Gratitude". Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell, and US Ambassador addressed the congregation which included government ministers, diplomats, and Grenadians.

Dr. Mitchell said 22 years ago the island was faced with an unprecedented challenge of restoring democracy to the country. "This challenge required the intervention of Caribbean and American military personnel to help restore our country to peace and stability. This, sisters and brothers, we must never forget," he said.

The Grenadian leader said the freedom, the peace and stability and the progress that the country has witnessed has continued without interruption ever since.
I have stood in the courtyard where Maurice Bishop was murdered and seen the impact points of the bullets on the stone wall. The driver we had hired that day took us on impromptu tour of Fort Rupert and told us what had happened there. We (my new bride and I) had spent several hours with him already and felt comfortable enough with him to ask him how Grenadians felt about the US invasion. He said that 70% of the people supported it. He said most of the support for the Cubans was in the rural areas. The only place we saw pro-Castro graffiti was outside of the cities.

One of the places we stayed in Grenada was the La Sagesse Nature Center on the east coast of the Island. La Sagesse is formerly the home of the late Lord Brownlow, Queen Elizabeth II's cousin, who in the early 1970s built the infamous Brownlow's Gate, which blocked public access to the beach. This gated, a symbol of colonial oppression, is one of the things that sparked the Revolution. All beaches in Grenada are public beaches and they are shared by all. In fact, one morning we shared the beach with three cows.

Read the rest of the article for more information about the invasion and the events that led up to it. I plan to add Grenada links to my link list. Grenada is still recovering from the damage done by hurricane Ivan and still could use some help in that effort. My wife and I plan to do our part in the recovery effort by returning there for vacation in a couple of years.

(edited for spelling - see comments)