ST. PETERS — Good morning. Good morning and congratulations to the people of Sint Maarten on the 375th anniversary of the Treaty of Concordia.
A Treaty recognizing the cooperation needed between two neighboring nations in order to peacefully coexist. Well, not only the cooperation needed to peacefully coexist but also the cooperation needed to successfully prosper. Prosper in terms of health, wealth and happiness. In order for its people to succeed, thrive and flourish. A people who were then and now tightly knit in common history and heritage, culture and cadence of speech and saunter. Tightly knit from Dutch Hope Estate to French Hope Estate, from French Quarter to Dutch Quarter and from Great Bay to Grand Case. A people so tightly knit that, as the saying goes, when one side sneezes the other catches a cold.
Our state of interdependence naturally guides us to work together for the common good of our nations and its people.
As we celebrate this anniversary of the Treaty of Concordia, it is my hope that we continue to act upon the articles of the Treaty of Concordia. The safety and security, social and economic aspects thereof.
Just as important as the articles of the Treaty, or to a greater degree in my view, is what is known as ‘the spirit of the law’.
This Treaty was evidently written with the goal of a peaceful, cooperative, coexistence something that should never ever be taken for granted, here or anywhere else in the world. The now more than one year long war in Europe is a case in point.
As such we can only do the Treaty and our foremothers and forefathers who lived in accordance with the treaty, justice by also carrying-out and living by the spirit of the Treaty, a peaceful, cooperative, coexistence. Not just in times of prosperity, but especially in times of trials and tribulations.
So when we as leaders of these two great and greatly interdependent nations travel back down this hill, as the signatories to the Treaty did 375 years ago; may we do so with the spirit of the Treaty of Concordia etched in our minds and in our hearts and at the forefront of all that we do, not only at commemoration of anniversaries but every day in honor and reverence of those who blazed the trail before us and with the foresight and vision for those to come after us.
Thank you, God Bless you and God bless our great village Sint Maarten