by Linda Straker
It was a touching ceremony on Tuesday morning, as former soldiers along with members of the October 19th Martyrs Foundation and some members of the Diplomatic Corps gathered at the St George’s Cemetery, to pay tribute to the soldiers who were buried there following the USA invasion in October 1983.
Reading out the names of the soldiers brought tears to the eyes of the former soldiers who had came to visit the fallen comrades and reminded them to “Rest in Peace.”
In his remembrance message, Dr Terence Marryshow said, “We owe the soldiers a debt of gratitude, because their sacrifices were not in vain… to die for your country is to live forever,” just before the names were called of the 13 known soldiers who were buried in the St George’s cemetery. 6 of these soldiers were from the parish of St John with 4 of them from the village of Grand Roy.
Dead from St John are Cleveland Phillip, Godwin McEwen, Daniel Lawrence and Stephen McEwen from Grand Roy; while Colin Carter and Thomas Mitchell were from Gouyave, according to programme leaflet.
The other soldiers named were Joy Mitchell, Keith Noel, Roy Antoine and Keith Pierre from St Andrew; Alston Francis and Elton Thomas from St David. The final soldier being Michael Charles from St Patrick.
Besides the names of the soldiers printed on the monument, there is also a space for the unknown soldiers, because history has yet to make a final determination as to the number of Grenadian soldiers who died.
This marks 33 years since the invasion, and yet some people are still unaccounted for.
Filled with emotion, former Lance Corporal Terrence Calender who witnessed the death of Carter, laid his wreath on the monument. Coordinator of the event Peggy Nesfield said that it is very important that Grenada and Grenadians remember the soldiers. “We have to respect this day — they were soldiers on duty,” she said.