What happened at the Mindoo Phillip Park the night of 5 May 2023 at approximately 9:17, which, incidentally, was the opening of this year’s jazz and arts festival, was remarkable, beautiful, yet emotional.
While a high percentage of the thousands of patrons who thronged the Park can say they had a wonderful time, it was not the acts, nor the huge turnout at the venue which caused the penning of today’s editorial.
Today’s piece is because of the pride and unity which was exemplified at the park when the first bars of the national anthem hit the night skies. It was indeed a joy to behold.
Gone were the slouchy attitudes usually seen in Saint Lucians over the years when the national anthem is being played. And by that we mean the talking, the standing anyhow, the unconcerned look …. you get the drift.
That night, the Mindoo Phillip Park stood at attention for the national anthem. One member of our editorial team swore that shoulders went back more than usual, chests went forward a bit more than usual, and everyone appeared to be standing just a little taller than usual.
What we saw that night was a people united, patriotism at its best, a people proud of their country’s history; born Saint Lucians, proud to be Lucians, proud of where they’re from, whatever part of the country that is.
Fun was had at the Mindoo Phillip Park that night and everything was just right. Politics, that divisive devil that keeps tearing away at our souls and at our love for each other, was absent, no wonder then that unity and patriotism were the rulers that night.
We ask ourselves this question: Could it be possible that Saint Lucians have finally come to realize that a national anthem, while just a patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history and traditions of a country and its people, is a beacon they can rally around and through unity of strength accomplish many things?
Nevertheless, we are not misled by what we saw at the park last Friday night, as beautiful a sight as it was. We believe that too many of us still need to go back to the basics and learn the true meaning of the national anthem which teaches us to be truthful, brave, honest, law-abiding, loving and tolerant and, above all, love the land that gave us birth.