Remembrance Day 2023: Guyana rededicates itself to search for peace everywhere – Pres. Ali


As Guyana pays tribute to its citizens who fought in World Wars I and II, President Dr Irfaan Ali on Sunday emphasised that Guyanese are dedicated to searching for peace while calling for a ceasefire in the world’s conflict zones.

During his address on Sunday at the Remembrance Day ceremony at the war memorial monument in Georgetown, the President renewed his Government’s commitment to the development and well-being of all citizens.

“On this solemn occasion, we the citizens of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, rededicate ourselves to the search for peace everywhere.”

“The time has come for a ceasefire. The time has come for children, women, and men, not to be awakened to their deaths by bombs. But to enjoy a world filled with peace, joy, and prosperity,” President Ali said.

Of the veterans, President Ali said that the soldiers who fought selflessly in World Wars I and II did not do so for the world to inherit, to this day, continuous war. According to him, Guyana is dedicated to planning for and contributing to a peaceful world.

“(The veterans) sacrifice was in the cause of peace and freedom. They did not sacrifice so that we may inherit a world in which we have a continuation of wars and conflict. On this Remembrance Day, the least the world can do in honour of those who sacrificed ultimately in the two world wars, the least the world can do is to return every corner of this world to a position of peace.”

“To return hostages held against their will. And to cease fire on every land in which men, women, and children, are killed and awakened by the sound of bombs. This country, the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, plans every single day for a peaceful world and contributing towards a peaceful world in honour of all those who made the ultimate sacrifices in those two world wars,” President Ali said.

The Head of State laid the first wreath, followed by Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips. Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Brigadier Omar Khan; President of the Guyana Veterans Legion, Lt Colonel (Ret’d) George Gomes; Commissioner of the Guyana Police Force (ag), Clifton Hicken along with heads of the diplomatic missions present in Guyana and members of key organisations that emerged during the world wars also paid their respects.

Meanwhile, British Ambassador to Guyana, Jane Miller, who addressed the Guyana Veterans Legion after the wreath-laying ceremony, made it clear that the United Kingdom (UK) fully supports the work the legion does to honour those who’ve come before them.

“The UK is very happy and very proud. And we really applaud you for the work you’re doing. Today is a time for remembrance. It’s a time for reflection. Across the whole world, we have a contested world. We have wars, we have conflicts happening. And today, throughout the world, we will stop and reflect and pray for peace.”

“At the same time, we want to thank those (veterans) for their hard work, for their bravery, for the men and women. Those who have defended our freedoms all over the world. We also think about the families, we think about the widows, we recognise the service they have provided to each and every one of us.”

Also present was the Canadian Ambassador to Guyana, Mark Berman. According to him, Canada and Guyana have shared values such as reverence for the contributions of veterans and a commitment to peace and freedom. And noting that these values come at a high price, he made it clear that the sacrifices of the veterans must never be forgotten.

“We in Canada recognise (veterans’) invaluable contribution to our safety and I know that Guyana proudly recognises veterans and serving members of the GDF. Four Canadian servicemen lay at rest at the Commonwealth war graves at Eve Leary here in Georgetown. We commemorated their service yesterday, at the same time that all Canadians commemorated our fallen servicemen around the world,” Berman said.

Remembrance Sunday is held on the second Sunday of November, while Remembrance Day is observed on November 11 annually by Commonwealth countries to honour those who died in world wars.