Grenada celebrated the 40th anniversary of the tragic assassination of Maurice Bishop on Thursday, October 19th. Maurice Bishop was the revolutionary leader of the New Jewel Movement.
In 1983, Bishop and seven others were murdered by a firing squad, which led to the disintegration of the People’s Revolutionary Government.
The slaughtered individuals included Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and his colleagues, Jacqueline Creft, Evelyn Maitland, Unison Whiteman, Norris Bain, Fitzroy Bain, Evelyn Bullen, and Keith Hayling.
To commemorate the 40th death anniversary of the brave leaders. The government has declared a public holiday on October 19th. This day will also be known as National Heroes Day.
This is the first time Grenada will have a public holiday to commemorate National Heroes Day. However, this day is not just dedicated to one particular national hero.
Gail Purcell, a member of the National Organising Committee at the conference, stated that this event is celebrated to emphasize the tragedy of October 1983 and to keep the memory alive in the younger generation.
She added that the general public will be allowed to review and highlight the criteria for choosing heroes who will be celebrated on National Heroes Day next year.
Purcell remarked that no such designation of a National Hero has been specified for this event but next year, citizens will be allowed to decide what constitutes a national hero and what criteria must be met for an individual to be given that honour.
Maurice Bishop Martyr’s Foundation played a significant role in providing their contribution and support in organizing this event. Late Former Prime Minister Maurice Bishop’s wife was also at the event.
The day was kicked off with an Ecumenical Service at the National Stadium started at 9 a.m. The scheduled activities also included a minute of complete silence as church bell tolled across Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, symbolising respect and admiration for the lives lost.
Furthermore, the day’s final activity included a candle march to pay homage to victims of the massacre. For the same, citizens gathered on the Carenage at 7 p.m. for a “Light Tribute”.
The day, October 19th, was a significant reminder of the brave souls and allowed citizens to express their grief for the deceased.