In July of 1973 when the new Bahamian nation was born, the people, were urged, through the words of the national anthem, to press on, and to march together to a common, loftier goal.
Forty years later the call to Bahamians is still to press on together in unity.
Forty years ago when the people of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas officially became masters of their own destiny, they also assumed to themselves a sacred responsibility to protect and preserve those freedoms enshrined in the Constitution, and those opportunities which ought to accrue naturally to every citizen of this land.
Each year as we observe the anniversary of Independence, we are expected to re-commit to that responsibility, and to re-examine how much further we can go in keeping the nation free and progressive.
Since 1973, by self-confidence and hard work and vision. The Bahamas has faced and overcome challenges on many fronts and in many disciplines. The youth of the nation, that vibrant promise of hope and glory of our future, today stand on the threshold of a great legacy, and it must continue to be our mission in The Bahamas to ensure that their inheritance is a goodly one.
These are times in our great nation when we face assaults and incursions from many quarters, and when we are called upon to stand together as a strong and impregnable Bahamian force.
In the community we are battling the scourges of violent crime, abuse of defenseless women and children, and a level of poverty which is yet unacceptable as all round us there is so much plenty.
As we observe and celebrate the 40th anniversary of independence, there is perhaps no more compelling way in which we can adopt a spirit of unity and brotherhood than by coming together under our flag.
This 40th anniversary celebration must remind us that we are one nation united under God, and as we raise our voices in “March On, Bahamaland” and reflect upon our Pledge of Allegiance, let that spirit not only prevail at this juncture, but continue in the months and years ahead to keep our nation strong and proud.
In our participation in the various celebrations, we ought forever to keep in mind that a most vital tool of our development as brothers and sisters in this Bahamas is national pride.
In that national pride we have a conscious recognition that we belong to a very special fraternity of citizens with a common, wonderful heritage which we are mandated to treasure and to preserve.
On the noble concepts and principles of compassion and compromise, of brotherhood and benevolence, of sportsmanship and spirituality, of caring and Christian charity, which are so deeply ingrained in the souls of true Bahamians, this nation will continue to prosper, and we do this nation greatest service when we commit to the impression of those virtues on the children and grandchildren all over Bahamaland.
Happy 40th Birthday, Bahamas!
*This blog was contributed by Mr. P. Anthony White, well known Bahamian Journalist, Media Personality and friend of The SignMan