Minister Silveria Jacobs St. Martin Day Address

People of St. Martin,

November 11th is a special day for us all. As we celebrate St. Martin Day today, we are reminded of the journey of 2 ever evolving constitutional nations, made up of one people; one people with a sense of unity through the shared history, blood and shared sacrifice, forging together to ensure the development of our country for the present and future generations to come.

On this St. Martin Day, we celebrate the peaceful coexistence of a people from the north and the south and we honor and adhere to all things S’Maatin; from the sweet songs such as the historical St. Martin song, St. Martin is my Home from Leno Hughes, St. Martin Rumba from the Mighty Dow, right down to the modern songs of our current local artists; WE celebrate St. Martin.

People of St Martin, today is a day when we put aside all differences; differences that can divide us because today we celebrate unity. We come together because we share and we want to celebrate in harmony with our brothers from the south and our sisters from the north. Do not allow us as St. Martiners to be divided by the actions of people from across the Atlantic who have no idea how we live.

Today is the day to prove that we have not let our responsibilities fall by the wayside, but rather, that we’ve embraced those responsibilities, all while creating a multicultural nation our ancestors left for us.
We can also go back to dispute “to whom does this land belong?”, but from the beginning of time as has been recorded over 350 years ago, we have coexisted from different cultural societies and we have over the years welcomed many to our shores.

We must learn to not only live as St. Martiners on November 11th, but rather, throughout the entire year. We must be able to teach and show others, who call St. Martin  their home, what it means to be a St. Martiner. Our people must understand our history and customs, learn it, live it, and share it with all who visit our shores, whether they decide to stay or come for a short time. We must educate our children, and so while abroad; they will be the ambassadors of this beautiful island and speak of its extensive history, beauty, unification, the arts, the culture of the people who live and love St. Martin. When we talk about St. Martin we talk about the dances; the ponum; we talk about the stories of the old, we listen to the elders and hear how things used to be “back in the day”; the poetry by people such as Roberto Celestino Arrindell, who could tell you about “Leh we go back…”, a really special one that conjures up many wonderful memories, even for me; the food, the conchs and dumplings, the fish and fungi, the rice and peas, even the chicken leg and johnny cake; the many games that we played, the marbles, the hula hoops, the spin the bottle, all of the different games that you can go out and enjoy today, on St. Martin Day.

These things must continue to transcend all else. Knowledge of self helps you to build on who you would like to be and also appreciate the hard work that has gone into building this country.

So I would like to ask you today, November 11th, as we celebrate St. Martin Day to support each other not only today, but everyday. Lift up your brother, lift up your sister. Let us be examples of unity and peace, not just on St. Martin, not just in the region but throughout the world.

A very happy, blessed, and safe St. Martin Day to all the people of St. Martin; those who were born here, those who came here, and those who were born to be here; all of you who call St. Martin home, Happy St. Martin’s Day.