“Long live the Republic, long live France and long live SaintMartin”, concluded each official.
MARIGOT: Due to the health situation, the July 14th ceremony was held on Wednesday at the Hôtel de la Collectivité. After an ecumenical mass celebrated at the Catholic Church of Marigot and the traditional wreath laying in front of the war memorial, the officials delivered their speeches in the deliberation room, broadcasted live on the Facebook page of the COM.
Stevenson Miller, president of the territorial youth council introduced this series of speeches. After congratulating the new graduates and in particular those of the CTJ who obtained honors, he recalled that July 14 celebrated the storming of the Bastille and the foundation of the Republic and reaffirmed the attachment of the CTJ to the values it bears. He regretted that this day, which is also the feast of Marigot, could not, because of the crisis, be translated as usual into more social moments on the waterfront.
Daniel Gibbs, President of the Collectivity then took the floor and first expressed himself on the health crisis by positioning himself as “supporter of mass vaccination”. He then reacted to the announcement of the extension of the health pass: “I am optimistic and legitimate: perhaps it is a “necessary evil” – and for a well-defined time? But I confess, as a liberal and as a humanist, I am uncomfortable with the prospect of the “QR Code” for all…”. And to emphasize: “And how to impose this measure to the restaurants of St. Martin, in the ultra-competitive context that we know! … The Friendly Island can not become the island of constraints and controls.” The president of the COM then continued on the importance of unity, “between citizens of the Hexagon and Overseas, under the same flag” and recalled that “the full implementation of the statutory provisions requires a loyal and balanced partnership with the local state.
Annick Petrus, senator of Saint-Martin, and territorial councilor, recalled the values of the Republic which is “not only a heritage but also a dynamic that aims to limit the barriers to individual and collective freedoms, to establish equality before the law and the solidarity of citizens to each other.
The deputy of SaintMartin and SaintBarthélemy, Claire Guion-Firmin addressed her “most sincere thanks and the testimony of her respect” to “those who apply themselves and invest themselves for always more fraternity, justice and equality”.
Serge Gouteyron, delegate prefect of Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin, paid tribute to “those who defend France, watch over it […] and carry the values of the Republic”. In “this friendly island” which he described as “an example of humanism”, “we have confidence in France” and “we have the collective will to perpetuate the values of the Republic”.