Reporter Editorial Today....

Reflecting on the Battle of St. George’s Caye, in pre-independence days this single historical event has been responsible for much of our patriotic fervor, our culture expressed in poetry and song, our sense of history and pride in the achievements of our ancestors.

On more than one occasion the memory of the historic decision to stand and fight has been an inspiration to us when days were dark and our emerging democracy appeared to be threatened; when the government of a past era banned public meetings, insisted on having a radio monopoly and saw nothing wrong in allowing the telephone company to deny Internet access to Belizeans.

At such times the spirit of the Baymen saw us through; spoke to us through the centuries. If they could decide to stand and fight against overwhelming odds in 1798, then so can we today.

Even after independence, our patriotism is strengthened, not weakened, because of the Battle of St. Gorge’s Caye. Even though we celebrate our independence with pride, it detracts nothing from the vigour and enthusiasm with which we celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye.

To many of us the two events are complimentary and inseparable because both these events contribute to the character and strength of our people.

Today Belize is beset by many problems. Our nagging economic woes, exacerbated by an international recession, is further complicated by a burgeoning crime wave, fuelled by people intent on destabilizing our country by putting guns into the hands of callous teenagers.

If we have a sense of history we will not be dismayed by this new challenge. We will overcome it as we have overcome other challenges -- by coming together in unity and determination, drawing strength from the past to face the future.

On this 212th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye, let us resolve once more that our country is worth fighting for, and we will not give it up to criminals and rascals and others who want to turn our country into a den of thieves.