This year’s theme is: “Though Culturally Diverse Sint Maarten – Saint Martin Unity Comes First.”
“I call on the nation, both North and South, to reflect this November 11th on what it means to be culturally diverse. Reflect on how far we have come, and look at the future on where we need to go and continue to grow as a nation and as a people of this 37 square mile island. Without a doubt, unity indeed comes first and transcends any border.
“We're soon celebrating our fifth Sint Maarten's Day as a Country. In spite of recent developments, it is mine and my Cabinet's pleasure to mark this achievement with you. We remain committed to serving Sint Maarten in any capacity we can. While the road forward is indeed littered with obstacles, the spirit of you, the people, will carry us through.
“The theme this year is so adequate because it is one of the truest reflections of our joint reality on this 37 square mile island. Though we have different official languages, we are united in a common colloquial tongue. Though we cook it differently, tell me what Sint Maartener on either side does not enjoy fish. Though some methods are different in various spheres, we all share the view on morals and values, that raising children with manners and respect is essential for the future of the island.
“Some may think that our diversity and our celebration of the melting pot which exists here is a fool's journey. But, what they fail to realize is that our diversity is an example for the world. It shows how despite the differences, we find that which is the same, and use those things to build a nation.
“On Sint Maarten/Saint Martin's Day, I am reminded of how Father Kemps marvelled at our island. So much was his wonder that when he penned the Sint Maarten song he placed value on the plurality that exists here; a plurality which makes this one little island a singular gem of the region. We must cherish what we have; what we have built as a people; and we must cherish what is still to come which will be guided and directed by the generations to come.
“Our 5th Sint Maarten’s Day should be a beacon of a lifetime of determination to forge a path for our country. As a multi-cultural nation, we are an example. Everyone has a place here. Our journey in nation building is not complete, because nation building is a forever on-going process and of development that will be continued by present and future generations to come.
“Let us celebrate how we have turned vulnerabilities into strengths. Despite not having any natural resources, we are a rich nation in human resources. We must continue to create opportunities in the private and public sectors in order for our talents to thrive. Because, it is in the talents of the people both North and South, that allows us to overcome challenges. Our journey ahead may be uncharted, but we as a nation always aspire to be the best.
“On November 11th, let us rejoice together in the successes; let us pledge to take the island forward by recommitting ourselves to work together as one united people in order to achieve prosperity for all, happiness for all, and a progressive Sint Maarten/Saint Martin nation for all. God bless you all on this Sint Maarten/Saint Martin's Day and may God continue to bless Sint Maarten,” Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs said in connection with national celebrations.