Our national day November 11, we celebrate both North and South together. It is a time when we come together to celebrate our extraordinary nation, and where we appreciate, and be thankful that we are Sint Maarteners/St. Martiners.
We have much to be grateful for. As a people we have much respect for our ancestors who built our island nation. They have transcended our island into a beacon of the Caribbean making it one of the most desirable nations in which to live. We would not live in the great island nation that we know today if not for the sacrifices of the men and women on both sides who have built what we know as Sint Maarten/St. Martin.
Let us pause for a moment, and say thank you to all those who have contributed to our national development.
As we look towards the future, as a people we will encounter may new challenges and opportunities. We have to ask ourselves, what future do we see for our island nation? What kind of home do we want for our children?
As a developing nation, we must always offer hope for our people. Each generation of Sint Maarteners must improve on what was inherited from past generations. This is the way forward for the North and South sides of this nation.
As the theme for this year's celebration says, "One People respecting the past, investing in the future."
Sint Maarten/St. Martin, is our shared home. What our nation becomes depends on what we make of it. With our determination and resolve as a people, our nation is well placed to take advantage of the opportunities and overcome the challenges of the 21st century.
This vision has been a reality all along based on the sacrifices made in the past. On this national day as we forge ahead, may we as a people remember the power within each one of us, and that we continue to contribute in building a nation based on the principles of compassion and equality for all.
Wishing you, your family, friends, our people abroad, and our visitors, a happy, safe and joyful Sint Maarten/St. Martin's Day.
May God bless our native land.
United Peoples (UP) Party Leader
Former Vice Prime Minister