The love for Anguilla, that infinite love, is a feeling which has been present in us since birth. Anguilla’s natural splendor is simply genuine. The Caribbean’s serene 35 sq. mile rock-of-an-island looks beautiful on the internet and yet an understatement when compared to the real experience. This catalyst has played an integral role in our patriotism which cannot be expounded by a dictionary, but by the people who live it.
Anguilla’s 1967 “Bloodless Revolution” illustrated the brilliance of the men and women of our nation who voluntarily took arms to liberate our island. Patriotism was and will always be the fuel which inspired them to persevere in the barren land which subsequently bore fruit.
Hence, its real glory lies in the spectacle of the hundreds of citizens who work as public servants, in the private sector, in the hospitality industry, single mothers, single fathers, students and entrepreneurs – the Kings and Queens of this land. These people work day and night – overtime, all the time – to make their families content and safe. Ultimately, such sacrifices build a stronger island; our home of unity, endurance and strength.
“I love AXA” and “iRep264” can be seen on hats and t-shirts all across the island, especially for Anguilla Day. But, the reigning spirit of perseverance and dedication exuded by residents and visitors, who continually promote and travel to Anguilla, is the truest representation of patriotism viewed by the world.
A true patriot looks unblinkingly into the face of history and dares to pass, to the next generation, the cultural traditions and events which made us. The history makes us unique; it gave us our identity and is the real reason why anyone should visit Anguilla. It is imperative to acknowledge the accomplishments and short-comings of our past which produced our island’s rich history.
Indeed, Anguillians are skillful well-informed people with so many awe-inspiring successes and many more to be made. This is evident in the likes of Ronald Webster, Zharnel Hughes, British Dependency, just to name a few.
May 30th, Anguilla’s official birthday, is celebrated through the raising of flags, the parade on the James Ronald Webster Park, wearing orange, white and blue and also one of the most anticipated events, the “Round-di-Island” boat race. The hearts and minds of the people are of high-energy, which certainly cannot be measured to any other time of the year, other than August Monday – the first Monday of August – when we celebrate the emancipation from slavery.
We the people have a burst of pride when we sing “God Bless Anguilla”, the National Song, “We’ll love her hold her dear to our hearts for eternity” quoted from the National Song. We represent Anguilla with the glee of our smiles and the flavor of peas and rice. We take pride when we help our neighbour clean and season red snapper fish that he went out to catch at 3 a.m. We take Anguilla with us, wherever we may go, sharing our country to the world.
“We’ll love her hold her dear to our hearts for eternity”
To be free in one’s own land is the essence of peace. Unfortunately, there are still so many countries fighting to have their freedom. Freedom in Anguilla means to watch the sun fade into the horizon from anywhere, on any beach, in any chair.
Our history gave us a reason to dream; forever wrapped in her blue tranquil waters and snug in her snow-white sand. My patriotic soul beats orange, white, and blue. I love Anguilla, we are Anguilla!
Guest Writer: Rennetta Lewis of Anguilla, Passionate Poet, Writer & lover of Anguilla.