A virtual flag-raising ceremony was held at the OECS headquarters in Saint Lucia on Friday, September 17th 2021 to commemorate the event. The ceremony featured a recorded message from Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris; and an address by the Director General of the OECS, Dr. Didacus Jules. The national prayer was delivered by The Venerable Christian E. Glasgow, Archdeacon of the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Saint Lucia.
In his address, the OECS Director General reflected on the history of Saint Kitts and Nevis and the progress made in the development of the country and its people. He also acknowledged the dilemma that Saint Kitts and Nevis, like other OECS Member States, is facing to promote measures aimed at safeguarding the health and well-being of its citizens while being equally concerned with the imperative for sustained economic growth.
"As the region currently experiences a surge in COVID-19 infections, with the resulting loss of jobs and shutdown of small companies – particularly in the tourism sector, this situation has laid bare the economic costs of the crisis and the uncertainty and grim choices faced by OECS leaders.
The Commission is aware of the particularly grave impact of the virus on Saint Kitts and Nevis and commends the decisive actions and efforts of government to ameliorate these impacts and to contain the virus," Dr. Jules stated.
Speaking on this year's theme, "Adapt, Diversify, Recreate: Independence 38", Prime Minister Harris shared a message of hope, urging the people of Saint Kitts and Nevis to face the future with "that enduring sense of shared responsibility that has always helped [the nation] through difficult times."
"We have examples in our history of overcoming adversity, with God in all our struggles. We possess all that is needed for us to get past those hurdles and achieve a stronger, safer future. We have the intellectual capacity built from our continual investments and our keen and unwavering interests in education and learning. We have the knowledge and experiences of those gone before us, along with the energies and ingenuity of our young people.
We must marry these with the strength of will and love of country enshrined in our national anthem. In doing so, we will move closer to making our Saint Kitts and Nevis, our Garden of Eden – a perpetual shining example of democracy, peace and stability, prosperity and opportunity," Prime Minister Harris said.
The Commission and its entire staff remain deeply committed to supporting the Government and people of Saint Kitts and Nevis in its continuing efforts to navigate and to address the innumerable challenges of this unprecedented health and economic crisis.