By Shannon Lebourne
Saint Lucia has unveiled plans for celebrating that island's thirty- fourth Independence Anniversary.
Independence 34 will be celebrated in a memorable way, showcasing what it truly means to be Saint Lucian.
Speaking at an Independence Press Conference on Wednesday February 6th , 2013, Chairperson of the Standing National Independence Committee Mr. Daryl Montrope disclosed that government is hoping for greater appreciation of and support for Independence this year.
"While we got our flag in February of 1976 the story of Saint Lucia was not born in 1979 as there are lots of events prior, which have helped shaped our nation and we have not told that story and I think that was what Independence was suppose to do, provide us an opportunity to focus and it is not just on the day but that period is an opportunity for us to focus and say I am Saint Lucian and I am proud just like any other nationality would".
This year emphasis has been placed on decentralising the independence celebrations in an effort to make it truly national.
The Chairperson of the Standing National Independence Committee says greater youth involvement is also a priority area.
"This is why this year we are having a Youth Rally and not just a School Rally because we have recognise that young people outside of school also need to be engaged and they have a lot to showcase,. Almost half of Saint Lucia`s population was born before 1979 and that makes them still youth, so that means more than half the country fall in that bracket and so we need to provide more opportunities for them."
This year`s independence observance is being planned as a pre-cursor to the grand milestone celebration of the island`s thirty fifth Independence next year.
Independence 34 is being celebrated under the theme "Unlocking Our Creativity - Transforming Our World".
Dedan C. G. Jn Baptiste