by Donella D Hosten
In an effort to keep the legacies and memories of the many Grenadians who lost their lives during the 25 October 1983 invasion, a number of activities were held islandwide on Wednesday, 25 October 2017.
The day commenced with a church service held at the Gouyave Anglican Church, which saw many government officials, dignitaries, family and friends of those who lost their lives.
Following the aforementioned activity, there was a brief memorial service and wreath-laying hosted by the Maurice Bishop & October 19th 1983 Martyrs Foundation, held at the St George’s Centre Cemetery.
The foundation’s members, along with a number of Cuban and Venezuelan delegates, paid tribute to the 13 plus soldiers/militia who lost their lives, 34 years ago on this date.
Dr Terence Marryshow addressed the gathering, and reminiscing on the day’s occurrence in1983. He honoured the 13 soldiers, who, according to him made ‘the ultimate sacrifice,’ with 2 poetic renditions.
“All countries celebrating the sacrifices of their soldiers and veterans, and honour them. Those buried here have never received that national honour and recognition because of the most unusual and extraordinary circumstances under which that war was fought, and the cause for which they gave their lives.”
According to Dr Marryshow, 34 years ago a situation was created where ‘enemies were converted into friends, invader transformed into saviour, invasion [transformed] into rescue mission…’ and the sacrifices of those who lost their lives were not in vain.
Dr Marryshow referenced the Caribs who preferred to leap to their deaths rather than being captured by the enemies, those who fought with and alongside Julien Fedon in 1795, those who fought the 2 world wars against tyranny and oppression, and those who fought in the 1952 and 1979 revolutions. These persons, he said, have brought the nation to where it is today. “These fallen heroes were guided by nothing more than their patriotic spirit and instinct to do what was required of them, which was to defend the homeland.” For this, they should always be remembered. ‘To die for one’s country is to live forever.’
Following Dr Marryshow’s remarks, Grenada’s Ambassador to Cuba, Hon Clarice Charles, Cuba’s Ambassador to Grenada, Maria Caridad Balaguer Labrada, former soldiers, friends, and family members of those who lost their lives, laid wreaths. The names of the 13 soldiers were called out prior to the Last Post, which was done by a member of the Royal Grenada Police Force Band.