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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE BAHAMAS


Message from Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham on The Bahamas' 34th Anniversary of Independence:


Fellow citizens of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas: It is with great pleasure that I extend best wishes to all Bahamians on this the 34th anniversary of our existence as a sovereign and independent state in the community of nations. Each anniversary of Independence provides us with the opportunity to reflect on how far we have come in realizing our potential as a people and as a country. We face a multitude of challenges at home and in the world. We are fortunate, however that we are more equipped than many other developing countries to meet these challenges. We have a healthy democracy with institutions that have their origins centuries before we attained independence. We sometimes forget how fortunate we are in this respect, but we have only to look at those countries which are today struggling to establish these foundational institutions without which there can be no stability. We are a diverse society free from the sectarian strife which threatens to pull some other countries apart. We have unchallenged racial equality and religious harmony. Yes, we have our political differences, but these can be healthy once we do not carry them too far and once we realize that we differ only in the interest of the nation. The common bond that unites us all is the love of our country. This year, in commemorating our Independence we pay special homage to a number of our forbears who helped pave the way for the advancement of the Bahamian people by their contributions in education, in the legal profession, in journalism and in trade unionism. It is our hope that in remembering our forbears and in recalling their achievements in the face of tremendous obstacles we will be inspired to excellence in all our endeavours. This is especially appropriate this year as we also observe the 200th anniversary of the Abolition of the Atlantic Slave Trade, a first step as it was in the evolution of our societies in this region into more just and democratic countries. In this vein, The Bahamas has much of which to be proud. For 34 years we have demonstrated a firm commitment to our democracy and to the advancement of our people both economically and socially. We have been a responsible member of the international community through our participation in regional, hemispheric and global organizations and by the cordial relations we maintain with our neighbours. We are a talented people and I believe that once we put our talents to good use, as many of our forbears did so brilliantly, we can create an even brighter future for those who will come after us. I invite all Bahamians to join in these 34th Independence celebrations in a great spirit of national unity. I also invite those who are residents or visitors to join in our celebrations. I wish you all a happy and safe Independence Day and pray God’s blessing upon the nation and upon each and every one of us.

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