Renewed Focus to National Heroes Day
Editor: I was able to listen into just that last portion of the âLetter from the groundâ which was submitted by one Mr. Candy Edwards and is aired on Nice Radio every Saturday morning.
I am of the view that Candy has been rather spot on with his analysis and propositions on the subject of National Heroes. Clearly we have not yet culturally come across as a people to placing that critical emphasis on the subject of National Heroes. I too want to put on record the struggles of the National Youth Council in this regard.
On the naming of March 14th as National Heroes Day in 2001, I recall making the statement then, as President of the NYC, that we needed to further deepen the education on the subject of National Heroes and the assignment of candidates thereto.
This was intended to turn the country into a veritable school of historical studies; unfortunately we never saw this happening. It seems that the partisan political objective was attained and as such it was all over. Our parliamentarians have seemingly not given recognition to this fact and as such national heroism and heroes become politically important only in the month of March. This, I must put for the records, is utterly erroneous and has to be addressed with meaning. Letâs not create another historic wrong for the purpose of rewriting it years later.
History will not forgive us as a people for the manner in which we have laid the significance of the contribution of His Excellency Joseph Chatoyer barely on the face of a calendar. The time has come for us to infiltrate our education system positively with data on our first National Hero and the concept of National Heroism. This must take on similar and equal proportions to Independence Day, of course with new methodologies for advancing an appreciation of both concepts.
I call on the cultural groups, dramatists, singers, modeling agencies, drummers, playwrights and others to give a renewed focus to National Heroes Day and its accompanying principles. The media, both print and electronic, must play a critical role in this education exercise with a viciousness and calculated strategy as is embraced during national elections campaigns.
YOUTH, EXTRACT YOUR “CHATOYERIAN’ QUALITIES
Our writers must take the time out to pen reader- friendly materials to be used in our schools. The business society must collectively agree to support an initiative to support the publication and promotion of educational materials selling national heroes/heroism. By this I mean exercise books, note books, rulers, erasers, book bags, computers and other such materials must be used as part of the overall strategy.
Apart from winning the partisan political battles our politicians must sit down and devise a 20-year comprehensive strategy as to how we are going to lay the groundwork to achieving the success in setting out the doctrine on national heroism and its significance to any people and their identity, in this case the Vincentian people.
I will only be too saddened if my sons cannot translate their existence and make the significant connection of our national heroes. I want a grade one student to be able to stand before a TV camera or radio microphone and say what national heroism means to him or her and in so doing be able to name the national hero/es of the day.
My humble submission is, we need to spend the next 20 years or so on indoctrinization of national heroes and what it means to any society. Then, according to Candy Edwards if the country continues to focus on individual X , it is time that we take a second look at naming another National Hero within that five-year period.
One can only hope that the players and possible players give due attention to what little I have shared. I may not be considered of the tutored class and maybe the maxim that we must âmake sense out of every nonsenseâ deserves its applicability here.
In closing I want to wish the government and people of St. Vincent & the Grenadines at home and Vincentians abroad a historically and culturally rich National Heroes Day. I urge the youth of our blessed country to search deep within and extract their Chatoyerian qualities, this is one sure means of leading a meaningful life.
Israel R. Bruce