Red, white and black paraphernalia and festoons still hang within and outside buildings, weathered and fluttering since Independence Day on the 31st of August. But why?
Today, Trinidad and Tobago celebrates 42 years as a Republic nation, one month after celebrating our independence from the British monarchy. On the 1st of August 1976, Trinidad and Tobago became a Republic. However, the public holiday was established on the 24th of September and celebrated on that day each year, since that was the date the first Parliament met under the new Republic constitution.
But what does it mean to be a Republic?
Republicanism further extols our independence. Power lies within our hands through exercising our democratic right to vote and elect leaders who have the ability to bring change within our land. Thus, the voices, concerns and despairs of the populace can be heard and presented before the respective authorities and elected representatives whose duty is to serve the people. The ultimate authority to determine our path rests with us rather than the British monarchy which was replaced when a President was installed as head of state.
As Trinbagonians, we tend to overlook the sacred significance of this day, not fully comprehending how truly independent we are after severing ties with much of our scarring colonial heritage. Though we have progressed in many faculties, there is much yet to be done. Let us continue to unite, bridging gaps of social integration and moving forward as a unit, as one people, as a Republic.
RMC celebrates this legacy by breaking down language barriers and promoting the understanding of cultures that have the potential to divide us, through the services we provide.
We wish the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago a Happy Republic Day.