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Concerns that cannot be ignored

Stay safe and show respect: the streets were rammed during last year’s Bermuda Day parade (File photograph)

Declining standards in behavioural attitudes, especially during public functions, have been a growing concern for years in Bermuda — and there seems to be no ready-made answers, even though constant appeals are made by officials urging the public to be respectful towards others as people gather in large numbers to celebrate events such as Bermuda Day.

During the summer months, a number of public events have been scheduled and it is no secret that police and security units have a task that involves extreme sensitivity, as there are usually some who behave as though they have licence to say or do as they please, without any concern for others.

So much goes into Bermuda Day celebrations, with behind-the-scenes workers who give of their time freely to build floats or to prepare various dance acts and other forms of entertainment that it is more than a shame when negative conduct by a few creates an unpleasant experience for those who simply want to enjoy the festivities in an atmosphere of respect and decency.

In recent years, officials have not had an easy time trying to get people to comply with rules about marking out spaces in the City of Hamilton to view the half-marathon and parade. There have been a few incidents that could have resulted in tempers getting out of control, and that should never be associated with Bermuda Day.

Other areas of concern that most people would rather not to have to confront are how some totally disregard private property, with no concern about what they leave behind after vacating a spot.

Long after the drums have fallen silent, and streets left to return to routine use, some are still busy cleaning up trash of every description, which leaves mixed feelings about an event that should be remembered for warm family gatherings.

Another aspect is that children of all ages are not only participants, but also spectators and they will probably take their guide from what they see and hear.

Most of us know that after hours of consuming certain beverages, adult language at times can become, shall we say, not in keeping with expected standards. Some will say, “What’s the problem? This is Bermuda Day.”

However, any citizen should be free to express concerns about deteriorating behaviour that has affected community life on the island over the years and, if ignored to avoid ruffling feathers, could lead to a rude awakening.

During these days of brazen, broad-daylight robberies, people are beginning to wonder how safe they are in their own homes.

With many people leaving their homes to attend various functions, they should always be mindful that a locked door is not necessarily total protection from criminal activity.

Police will have their hands full trying to keep the island safe, but under no circumstances can they be everywhere at the same time. Some of our seniors could be vulnerable at home alone and that concern must never be ignored.

These are not concerns to take the shine off a holiday that plays a part in bringing people together. Celebrations are wonderful, but they are far better when the celebration revolves around preserving good values that can be passed on to future generations.

Much will depend on full public co-operation, in helping to make Bermuda Day a memorable event — and that means everyone who takes pride in calling Bermuda home must be willing to help in eliminating concerns that cannot be ignored as we try to move forward.