Spectators-many of whom are dressed in patriotic outfits -looking at the 35th Independence Day Parade in 2018 on Victoria Road this week (Spokesman Snap)

How much do you love St.Kitts and Nevis? What are you doing to see to the progress, betterment and development within your respective communities so as to collectively poise our nation on the pedestal of the ‘O Land of Beauty’ status?

Posing these questions at this time of year is quite appropriate in an attempt to analyse within ourselves the level of patriotic pride we possess outside of the calendar activities that beckon and or inspire nationalistic passion and merriment transformed into flag-waving liveliness fitting the occasion.

Each year for our nation’s Independence and National Heroes anniversaries observed in the month of September, we reserve the right within our minds and hearts to exhibit the love and loyalty that we share for our twin-island Federation; similar to numerous countries around the globe whose citizens and residents choose to proudly display the patriotic glow overflowing from our spiritedness.

Yes, we are thankful for the social, economic and political gains achieved over the years whilst applauding all contributions which have positively aided us as a people and nation despite challenges and obstacles.

We sport our patriotic outfits, decorate our homes and vehicles, paint heartfelt statuses on various social media platforms and of course treat our taste buds to the national dish which mainly consists of stewed saltfish, coconut dumpling, seasonsed and spicy plantain.

We get together with family members, friends and colleagues at various events such as National Heroes tribute ceremonies, state service and Independence parade as well as social gatherings to slaute and enjoy the commemorations. We publicly show patriotic solidarity in the ‘O Land Of Beauty’ territory in saluting from whence we came from the control of British colonial rulers to attaining self-governing authority while collectively applauding the contributions our national heroes in the capacity of nation-building.

But when you think about St.Kitts and Nevis-your birth country/ residential space-, do you think about the physical landscape including the lush green environment as well as modern infrastructure when it comes to its beauty aspect or do you delve deeper in exploring what gives such definition?

Our Federation is indeed a geographic gem, rivalling many countries in tourism market on a worldwide scale as one of the best destinations on earth.

It is no doubt that tourists, local tourism officials and others alike could hold lengthy conversations about the physical impressiveness of this twin-island paradise, and when zooming in closer on the question about beauty would highlight the warm hospitality and friendliness of our people as top factor as it relates the nation’s loveliness.

Indeed, we as a people are beautiful; a priceless and intangible quality which we must harness in a wholesome way for everyday life for present and future generations.

Going forward, we should make a patriotic pledge to uplift ourselves and our country in grooming our thoughts and actions towards becoming better citizens and residents, and just like New Year’s resolution we can refresh our mindset each time around our patriotic celebratory period.

Obeying laws and following rules, protecting the environment, becoming a volunteer in your community or on a national level, respecting the rights of others and being a good neighbor are some of the key areas that can ignite avenues of coming together through nationalistic enthusiasm for the betterment of us all.

Throughout the year, we sing our official national song (national anthem) ‘O Land of Beauty’ written and composed by Mr. Kenrick Georges who died last month on Monday 26th August. It is a musical masterpiece which highlights and arouses our hopes, history and tradition of as a people.

Furthermore, it is an uplifting song  that we know by heart and in so doing, we sing it heartily. However, the question has to be asked: How many of us pay attention to its lyrical content?

For this 36th Independence Anniversary, let us look deep within ourselves in developing our own sense of independence by making in-control choices that will positively enrich our lives so that we can be the heroes and ‘sheroes’ who collectively play direct and indirect roles in the upward movement of our homeland.

See ‘O Land of Beauty’ lyrics below:

O Land of Beauty!

Our country where peace abounds,

Thy children stand free

On the strength of will and love.

With God in all our struggles,

Saint Kitts and Nevis be,

A nation bound together,

With a common destiny.

As stalwarts we stand,

For justice and liberty.

With wisdom and truth,

We will serve and honor thee.

No sword nor spear can conquer,

For God will sure defend.

His blessings shall forever,

To posterity extend.

Happy Independence St.Kitts and Nevis!