Frontline workers are national heroes, says Cole Simons
Bermuda’s day honouring its national heroes should include a tribute to the island’s frontline workers, the Opposition leader said today.
Cole Simons added that Monday’s commemorations should come with a reflection on those who cannot “openly celebrate their country – like the citizens of Ukraine”.
Mr Simons said National Heroes Day celebrated the “outstanding” people who contributed to the island and its culture, calling them “national treasures”.
“As we celebrate Heroes Day 2022, we must also recognise our modern-day heroes, and salute the country’s frontline workers for the critical role they play as we unite to battle the Covid-19 pandemic, as we battle crime and violence, and those who serve the shut in, our seniors, our young people.
“To keep the culture alive, we must never forget their great contributions.
“We must teach our young people about Bermuda’s history so that they can be inspired to take the baton of those who have gone ahead of them.”
He noted that the island first marked the public holiday in 2008 from a desire to build “a culture of national pride”, honouring those who “exemplify visionary and pioneering leadership, extraordinary achievement, and the attainment of the highest excellence”.
“Considering this, it is with great pleasure and pride that we once again salute Dame Lois Browne-Evans, Dr Fitzgerald Gordon, Dr Pauulu Kamarakafego, Sir Henry Tucker, Mary Prince, Gladys Misick Morrell, Sir Edward Richards, and Sir John Swan.”
Mr Simons said the island was small but its history was rich and complex.
He called on residents to “remember and display the resilient spirit we are known for”.
“We must continue to observe the Covid-19 protocols, be prudent during these inflationary times, and do not forget to be our brother’s keeper.”
Mr Simons highlighted Russia’s war on Ukraine as “a real threat to democracy and human rights” targeting innocent women, children seniors and the infirm along with soldiers.
“They need our prayers, support, and contributions, as they also share the values that we have defended throughout Bermuda’s history,” he said.
“Let us remember that we stand on their shoulders today, and we must play our part in demonstrating leadership.
“We must make our contribution to Bermuda’s success and history and share in the hope of better things to come.
“Every day offers us opportunities. It is for us to recognise them, to embrace them, and to make them count.
“I wish you all a happy Heroes Day.”