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Sep 1, 2020

September Celebrations Kicked Off with Flag Raising Ceremony

The COVID pandemic has thrown things upside down and as Belize nears its thirty-ninth birthday, the festive national celebrations are taking new form, but the sense of pride and nationalism remain the same.  This morning, a flag raising ceremony took place at the flag monument in Belize City.  Mayor Bernard Wagner symbolically hoisted the national flag as the symbol of independence and optimism. Unlike previous years, the event was a low-key affair due to the pandemic.  Here is News Five’s Hipolito Novelo with a report.

 

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

The September Celebrations were kicked off today with the annual flag raising ceremony held at the Flag Monument in Belize City.

But unlike last year and the years before, the characteristics of the September celebrations this year are different. The global pandemic has forced organizers to conform to the new norm where the collective show of civic pride is restricted.

But Belize City Councilor Allan Pollard Junior says that COVID-19 will not affect Belizeans’ unity and patriotism.

 

Allan Pollard Jr.

Allan Pollard Jr., Belize City Councilor

“Needless to say things are different this year. My heart goes out to those stalwart patriots who never fail to wake up early every year and join us in this deep rooted tradition. While I will admit, I miss the collective show of civic pride I want to reassure our people that our inability to congregate does not affect our patriotism and unity. The love of our country is not tangible. It is a feeling and there is an abundance of it in the atmosphere this morning. The month of September is a reflective period when we bring to mind where came from and how we got to where we are today.”

 

This year’s theme, “Overcoming Adversity, Creating Opportunity, Belizeans: Unite for Prosperity!” was the focus of Belize City Mayor Bernard Wagner’s address this morning.

 

Bernard Wagner

Bernard Wagner, Belize City Mayor

“This month our country turns thirty nine and although we are often regarded as a young and developing nation we must reflect on our resilience. Uncertainty has never permanently shaken us as Belizeans. We have withstood poverty and unemployment long before the virus came to attack our economy. We have withstood many natural disasters and many times we have lifted ourselves us and we have rebuild. We have defended our sovereignty in the face of an unfounded territorial claim and today stand strong as an independent nation. My fellow citizens there have a more appropriate time to remind ourselves that this too shall pass.”

 

And while this too passes, Mayor Wagner reminded Belizeans what the flags signify this time around.

 

Bernard Wagner

“Ordinarily our annual flag raising ceremony symbolizes the start of an extended period of jubilation but under the new normal these flags dancing daily overhead this morning portray a message of hope. Every time you pass by in the days and weeks ahead and see the coat of arms flying majestically know that you are among one of the most blessed nation in the world.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.


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