Sint Maarten Day Message
by His Excellency drs. Eugene B. Holiday
The Governor of Sint Maarten
Fellow Sint Maarteners,
Every year we celebrate our national holiday with the pleasant greeting: Happy Sint Maarten’s Day. It is a greeting with profound and deep meaning. Happy Sint Maarten’s Day is an expression of our hopes and aspirations as a people, and for our island. It is therefore my pleasure to greet you, the people of our island, in the North and in the South and in the East and in the West, on this November 11th day, with the profound words: HAPPY SINT MAARTEN’S DAY.
Fellow Sint Maarteners,
As we observe this Sint Maarten Day it is, in view of the challenges we face, important that we reflect on what Happy Sint Maarten’s Day mean.
It is a rally call for our happiness as a people, as an island, not just on our national holiday but year round. It is a rally call from me to you, from you to your neighbor, from Philipsburg to Marigot, From French Quarter to Dutch Quarter, to always work to secure our island as a place for our children to have opportunities for a better future. It is a rally call for continued progress from one generation to the other across our island.
This rally call has been a shared motto of generations of Saint Martiners. As a result, successive generations of our men and women have worked in harmony to build this island, our home. Today we are the beneficiaries of a treasured natural, cultural, and economic heritage. That is not to say that things are perfect. But rather that we are obligated to secure treasured achievements and to carry on in the pursuit of our aspirations for a happier Sint Maarten. Our pursuit, like that of the generations before us, is not without challenges. And while challenges may differ over time it is – if we are to continue to grow and progress – important that we always stand together as an island, as a Sint Maarten people.
In that regard I believe that we can draw inspiration from Ephesians chapter 4 verse 16, which paraphrased states that: The body, which is joined together by its joints, grows and builds itself up in love, when each of its parts is working properly.
In the context of the challenges we face, the importance of properly working parts, refers to, among others, securing stable governance and addressing ongoing border concerns.
My fellow Sint Maarteners,
The question before us therefore is how, in light of these challenges, do we forge forward and continue to give content to our Sint Maarten’s Day motto?
In answering this question, it is important to recognize and emphasize that we have come a long way together and that, what we have on Sint Maarten together, is special in so many ways. Special in terms of opportunities, family ties, cultural identity, and work and business relations across our island. As a people we can be proud of our tradition of progress in harmony and peace. A tradition that has served our people well.
This Sint Maarten’s Day must therefore, in particular, be dedicated and observed as a rally call for urgent, concerted and resolute action across borders to resolve existing border issues. To be successful this action must be guided by values embedded in the spirit of Sint Maarten day. These values are devotion to our island and unity in purpose. These are central values that make the protection and continued building of our island around our Happy Sint Maarten’s Day motto possible. Values which – in past situations – have been at the core of our actions in the face of threats to our aspirations for a better life for our children. Values that cements our resilience and ability to prevail as one people.
Thus as we observe our 68th Sint Maarten day, I am confident that we, as always, will stand together, and overcome our challenges, stronger and better, than before.
It is with this bright prospect for continued progress and a better future that Marie-Louise and I, hereby wish you, the people of Sint Maarten/Saint Martin, a safe and happy Sint Maarten’s Day.
Thank you, God bless you,
And may God bless our beloved island, and protect its coast.