Submitted by Caswell Franklyn
Remembrance Day is observed on November 11th in Commonwealth countries because World War I formally ended at 11 o’clock on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. The day therefore has special significance as a day of remembrance for members of the armed forces who lost their lives in the line of duty. However in Barbados, and some other countries, Remembrance Sunday is observed, on the closest Sunday to that date, with a military parade, a church service and the laying of wreaths at the Cenotaph. It bears repetition; Remembrance Sunday is set aside for members of the armed forces who fell in the line of duty.
It is therefore quite surprising and totally inappropriate for a Government Minister to lead a band of his constituents, with photographer on tow, to St. John to demean the significance of Remembrance Sunday. The Daily Nation of Monday, November 14, 2011 carried a story, with photograph, about Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy et al laying wreaths on the grave of the late Prime Minister, David Thompson. By now, the members of the Democratic Labour Party should have come to the realization that every occasion, especially days of national and in this case of international significance, is not an opportunity for politicking.
If I stretched it, I could understand and even forgive them if they had used Remembrance Sunday to commemorate something about the Rt. Excellent Errol Barrow, after all he fought in World War II. But I can’t understand why David Thompson was given significance on that day: he was not in the army, and certainly he did not die in the line of duty: I don’t think he was ever a scout. Do not cheapen David’s memory by trying to impose him into every sphere of activity of national life. The Government has already done so by organising a football competition to compete with one that was already organised by others for Mia Mottley.
Mr. Sealy your conduct in this matter was inappropriate, and I think that someone should tell you so: consider yourself told.