Congratulations to The Bahamas and its people on the 32nd anniversary of Independence.

The Bahamas achieved independence from Britain July 10, 1973, and is now a fully self-governing member of the Commonwealth and a member of the United Nations, the Caribbean Community and the Organization of American States.

As a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, The Bahamas recognises Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State. The Governor-General is Her Majesty’s representative in The Bahamas and constitutes a symbol of the nation’s unity.

In her Independence Day message, Governor-General H.E. Ivy Dumont reminded Bahamians of how blessed the country has been over the years, noting that since 1973 Bahamians have made much progress in national economic and political life. She challenged all political, spiritual and civic leaders to continue to adopt the fundamental doctrine upon which the country’s independence was declared. That principle, she said, is a national commitment to self-discipline, industry, loyalty, unity and an abiding respect for Christian values and the rule of law. *”As a people we have many reasons to celebrate, not least being the blessings upon our nation flowing from our godly heritage. It is to this rich spiritual legacy that we, as Bahamians, attribute our orderly and sustained economic, social and political development. Accordingly, respect for and service to God must remain the centerpiece of our national life.”*

Prime Minister Perry Christie also delivered an Independence Day message, pointing out that while other nations were forged out of war, revolution and bloodshed, The Bahamas emerged out of a peaceful transition from colonial rule to an independent state. *”For those of us who were witnesses to this momentous occasion – the birth of a nation – the enthusiasm, pride and reverence for this day will forever remain fresh in our minds,”*he said. The Prime Minister said it is important to pass on these same sentiments to those who may view the 10th July, 1973 as merely an historical date, so that the sense of patriotism and national pride will *”forever burn bright in the hearts and minds of all Bahamians.”*