Remembrance Day….Mankind forever indebted to those who made the supreme sacrifice-President Ramotar
Written by Shirley Thomas
HUNDREDS of Guyanese yesterday assembled at the Cenotaph, outside the Bank of Guyana, to witness and be part of the revered Armistice Day ceremony, and to pay tribute to those who gave their lives in the two World Wars (1914-1918 and 1933-1945) so that others left behind might live in peace.President Donald Ramotar in his statement on the occasion emphasised that mankind is forever indebted to those who made the supreme sacrifice for peace and freedom.
“On this Sunday of Remembrance we meet again to remember all those gallant men and women who gave their lives in two world wars. We are forever indebted to them for their supreme sacrifice in the cause of peace and freedom.
(QUOTE:) On this Sunday of Remembrance we meet again to remember all those gallant men and women who gave their lives in two world wars. We are forever indebted to them for their supreme sacrifice in the cause of peace and freedom.
“We also recall with gratitude those who, through the years, have made similar personal sacrifices in the continuing struggle for human dignity. social justice and prosperity for all peoples.”
“On this solemn occasion we, the citizens of the Republic of Guyana, rededicate ourselves to the search for peace everywhere and renew our commitment to the development and well-being of our beloved country,” the President declared.
Joined by the diplomatic community and representatives of other international and regional organisations it was a rather nostalgic occasion as all assembled, with an attitude of pride and commitment awaited the start of the ceremony.
Moments leading up to 07:00 hours members of the Disiciplined Services, led by the Guyana Police Force Band smartly attired in ceremonial uniform, marched onto the tarmac with pomp and ceremony and took up their positions around the Cenotaph, where they awaited the arrival of Prime Minister Samuel Hinds.
On this occasion, the Guyana Police Force dominated the contingents on parade, and its band which substituted for the unmistakably absent Guyana Defence Force contingents, performed with distinction and regaling the spectators, many of whom were children, and adults who had deferred Church Services, or downed activities in the home, to feast on a rare and spectacular treat by the Disciplined Services.
At 07:55 hours, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds arrived at the Cenotaph to a general salute, paving the way for the arrival of His Excellency President Donald Ramotar at 7:57 hrs. On his arrival, the President was greeted and escorted by Heads of the Guyana Defence Froce, the Guyana Police Force, the Fire Service and the Prison Service.
At 07:59hrs. the ‘Last Post’ was sounded, heralding the observing of silence for the dead. There were two one minute periods of silence, for the casualties of each of the war periods (1914-1918) and (1933-1945)
The silence was broken with the symbolic sounding of cannons, making way for the literally hair-raising sounds of the Reveille which painfully relived the memories of the horrific war periods.
As the programme unfolded, there came the much anticipated item on the programme: the laying of wreaths at the foot of the Cenotaph.
This distinguished task was performed first by President Donald Ramotar and followed by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds; Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Froce, Mark Phillips; Commissioner of Police, Leroy Burmell; Leader of the Opposition, Brigadier Ret’d David Granger; Mayor Hamilton Green and President of the Guyana Legion, Mr. Duncan Stewart,
each being escorted to the cenotaph and back, by a rank of the Police Force, striding with pride and purpose.
The laying of wreaths continued with Members of the Diplomatic Corps, followed by Heads of other international and regional organiations.
Prayers were offered by representatives of Guyana’s three leading religious organizations: The Christians, Muslims and Hindus, followed by the singing of “O God our Help in Ages Past’’ , rendered by the by the Guyana Police Force Band, and finally the National Anthem, again offered by the Police Force Band.
On leaving the Cenotaph, the presidential entourage proceeded north along Avenue of the Republic where the presidential salute was taken outside of State House.
That programme having concluded the day’s observances continued with a Remembrance Day Reception at COGHLAN HOUSE, Guyana Legion, Carifesta Avenue, beginning at 11:00 hours.