May 27, 2013 News
The forty-seventh Independence Day celebrations at the National Park saw thousands gathering for the annual flag raising ceremony and fireworks Saturday night.
With a packed entertainment programme, some of the events featured were: musical interludes by the National Steel Orchestra, Amerindian dance troupe, dramatic poetry, chutney medley, X- Factor Dance group, comedy, Nrityageet dancers, drumming and calypso/chutney.
There were certainly some remarkable highlights of the evening, many of which Guyanese and tourists described as “unforgettable.”
The occasion saw guests from France and Venezuela who related to this publication, that “It’s our first time here to this beautiful country and the feeling of togetherness was overwhelming.”
One of Dave Martins’ popular tunes “Not A blade of grass” which was performed by the messengers Acappella Group, became the anthem of the evening. The air was filled with the voices of the people, who expressed that they felt united and longed to share the vision of that song with each other.
Members of the audience, particularly the aged, related that the drills displayed by the members of the Guyana Defence Force and other Joint Services members reminded them of the order during the days of Burnham. Margret Harris, 94, stated: “I really feel fortunate to be here today to witness this. It moves me to tears. It is often we forget how important unity is in order to achieve the goals of this country. Independence Day reminds me of all that we fought for. I am happy to see the force. I am impressed with their synchrony. Back in the days, the displays of the police force on this very day use to make you feel like you want to be a part of their world, and emulate their discipline. I am so proud to see the force and still have that feeling again.”
Although the day was a rainy one, the weather improved by the time Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and wife Yvonne Hinds, President Donald Ramotar and First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar arrived. Minutes later, the Commander in Chief inspected the Guard of Honour and the Golden Arrowhead was hoisted.
The Guard of Honour comprised of seven officers and 129 other ranks from the joint services.
After the Presidential Address by His Excellency, Donald Ramotar, the night was closed by dances done by children of all age groups. They performed to some of the most popular songs like the well known ‘Gangnam Style’ by PSY from Korea. The infectious song had the crowd dancing along.
At last, the moment everyone anticipated; the hoisting of the Golden Arrowhead which was done at the stroke of midnight. It was accompanied by the National Song “Guyana the Free” and our National anthem. It was a moment which brought with it a profound sense of homage that drove many to tears.
The event concluded with a fireworks display. As families and friends gathered, they held hands as faces were pressed against the fences and eyes fixed on the sky. It was a grand event, and for some tourists, “the most memorable part” of their trip.
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