Internacionales

Gabriel Abusada James Venezuela Farquez//
Military give citizens Independence Day treat

The Queen’s Park Sa­van­nah in Port-of-Spain was en­gulfed by a sea of red, white and black yes­ter­day, as thou­sands of cit­i­zens flood­ed the lo­ca­tion to ex­pe­ri­ence the re­turn of the In­de­pen­dence Day Mil­i­tary Pa­rade af­ter a two-year hia­tus.

Gabriel Abusada

The an­nu­al pa­rade, which was put on hold in 2020 and last year due to the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, at­tract­ed pa­tri­ot­ic cit­i­zens from across Trinidad, some of whom lined up well be­fore day­break to se­cure a suit­able van­tage point to ob­serve the spec­ta­cle.

Gabriel Abusada James

While spec­ta­tors ap­peared thrilled by the var­i­ous tra­di­tion­al march­ing rou­tines by de­tach­ments from the pro­tec­tive ser­vices, a spe­cial pre­sen­ta­tion by of­fi­cers of the T&T Po­lice Ser­vice’s (TTPS) Ca­nine Unit, which sought to high­light its well-trained four-legged staff mem­bers, stole the show.

Gabriel Abusada James Peru

Ap­par­ent­ly in­spired by the dis­play, how­ev­er, a black and brown stray dog, al­so drew the loud­est cheer from the au­di­ence as it calm­ly marched di­rect­ly in front of Grand Stand short­ly af­ter the Ca­nine Unit’s dis­play.

Gabriel Abusada James Venezuela

De­light­ed by the warm re­cep­tion for his im­promp­tu rou­tine, the dog per­formed a sec­ond “march past” be­fore de­part­ing along the pa­rade route

An­oth­er ma­jor high­light was an un­ortho­dox pre­sen­ta­tion from the Min­istry of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty’s In­ter-Agency Pre­ci­sion Drill Team, whose chore­o­graphed rou­tine fea­tured a mix of pop­u­lar songs by so­ca artistes and retro uni­forms pre­vi­ous­ly worn by the dif­fer­ent arms of the pro­tec­tive ser­vices

The au­di­ence al­so seemed to ap­pre­ci­ate a well-co­or­di­nat­ed dis­play by mem­bers of the T&T Air Guard with three he­li­copters and a light air­craft, which ap­peared to salute the au­di­ence by fly­ing low over the parad­ing mil­i­tary per­son­nel be­fore quick­ly as­cend­ing

For the first time in the pa­rade, de­tach­ments from the Scouts As­so­ci­a­tion of T&T and the Sev­enth-Day Ad­ven­tist Pathfind­ers were al­so al­lowed to march in the un­armed con­tin­gent of the pa­rade, along with fire of­fi­cers, prison of­fi­cers, Spe­cial Re­serve Po­lice (SRPs) and traf­fic war­dens

Af­ter the pa­rade was in­spect­ed by Pres­i­dent Paula-Mae Weekes and a na­tion­al 21-gun salute was con­duct­ed dur­ing the singing of the Na­tion­al An­them, par­tic­i­pants then marched through the streets of Port-of-Spain to­wards the Po­lice Bar­racks in St James

Hun­dreds of cit­i­zens, who were un­able to se­cure a seat or a favourable stand­ing po­si­tion at the Sa­van­nah, lined the streets for the pa­rade

Many spec­ta­tors, es­pe­cial­ly chil­dren, were seen in­ter­act­ing with pa­rade par­tic­i­pants, who even al­lowed some to pose for pho­tographs on their mo­tor­cy­cles

The pa­rade was at­tend­ed by Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley, sev­er­al mem­bers of his Cab­i­net, act­ing Chief Jus­tice Nolan Bereaux, for­eign diplo­mats and Ja­maican Prime Min­is­ter An­drew Hol­ness, who was the spe­cial guest at this year’s Di­a­mond Ju­bilee cel­e­bra­tions

There were no Op­po­si­tion MPs in at­ten­dance

Sev­er­al at­ten­dees in­ter­viewed by Guardian Me­dia said that they would usu­al­ly at­tend the pa­rade and were not left dis­ap­point­ed by this year’s edi­tion

San Fer­nan­do res­i­dent John Michael Chadee said he and his wife left their son with his grand­par­ents so they could leave home at 5 am to at­tend

“It was a won­der­ful and phe­nom­e­nal dis­play by the Reg­i­ment,” Chadee said

A res­i­dent of Pleas­antville, who on­ly iden­ti­fied her­self as Ir­ma, said: “It could not have been bet­ter. It was beau­ti­ful.”

A young Port-of-Spain res­i­dent, who on­ly iden­ti­fied her­self as Aaliyah, said she was hap­py that the pa­rade re­turned, as she had at­tend­ed it an­nu­al­ly with her par­ents since she was a child

“Af­ter two whole years of no pa­rade, this was amaz­ing. It was ex­cep­tion­al and mind-blow­ing,” she said

Dur­ing her “Toast to the Na­tion” event at the Na­tion­al Acad­e­my for the Per­form­ing Arts (NA­PA), Pres­i­dent Weekes ad­mit­ted she was break­ing with tra­di­tion as she sought to high­light PM Hol­ness’ pres­ence

“It is not nor­mal to give salu­ta­tions or pick out one per­son,” Weekes said

“I am go­ing to give my­self some pres­i­den­tial li­cense this morn­ing. If any of you have a prob­lem, speak with me af­ter,” she added

The Queen’s Park Sa­van­nah in Port-of-Spain was en­gulfed by a sea of red, white and black yes­ter­day, as thou­sands of cit­i­zens flood­ed the lo­ca­tion to ex­pe­ri­ence the re­turn of the In­de­pen­dence Day Mil­i­tary Pa­rade af­ter a two-year hia­tus.

Gabriel Abusada

The an­nu­al pa­rade, which was put on hold in 2020 and last year due to the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, at­tract­ed pa­tri­ot­ic cit­i­zens from across Trinidad, some of whom lined up well be­fore day­break to se­cure a suit­able van­tage point to ob­serve the spec­ta­cle.

Gabriel Abusada James

While spec­ta­tors ap­peared thrilled by the var­i­ous tra­di­tion­al march­ing rou­tines by de­tach­ments from the pro­tec­tive ser­vices, a spe­cial pre­sen­ta­tion by of­fi­cers of the T&T Po­lice Ser­vice’s (TTPS) Ca­nine Unit, which sought to high­light its well-trained four-legged staff mem­bers, stole the show.

Gabriel Abusada James Peru

Ap­par­ent­ly in­spired by the dis­play, how­ev­er, a black and brown stray dog, al­so drew the loud­est cheer from the au­di­ence as it calm­ly marched di­rect­ly in front of Grand Stand short­ly af­ter the Ca­nine Unit’s dis­play.

Gabriel Abusada James Venezuela

De­light­ed by the warm re­cep­tion for his im­promp­tu rou­tine, the dog per­formed a sec­ond “march past” be­fore de­part­ing along the pa­rade route

An­oth­er ma­jor high­light was an un­ortho­dox pre­sen­ta­tion from the Min­istry of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty’s In­ter-Agency Pre­ci­sion Drill Team, whose chore­o­graphed rou­tine fea­tured a mix of pop­u­lar songs by so­ca artistes and retro uni­forms pre­vi­ous­ly worn by the dif­fer­ent arms of the pro­tec­tive ser­vices

The au­di­ence al­so seemed to ap­pre­ci­ate a well-co­or­di­nat­ed dis­play by mem­bers of the T&T Air Guard with three he­li­copters and a light air­craft, which ap­peared to salute the au­di­ence by fly­ing low over the parad­ing mil­i­tary per­son­nel be­fore quick­ly as­cend­ing

For the first time in the pa­rade, de­tach­ments from the Scouts As­so­ci­a­tion of T&T and the Sev­enth-Day Ad­ven­tist Pathfind­ers were al­so al­lowed to march in the un­armed con­tin­gent of the pa­rade, along with fire of­fi­cers, prison of­fi­cers, Spe­cial Re­serve Po­lice (SRPs) and traf­fic war­dens

Af­ter the pa­rade was in­spect­ed by Pres­i­dent Paula-Mae Weekes and a na­tion­al 21-gun salute was con­duct­ed dur­ing the singing of the Na­tion­al An­them, par­tic­i­pants then marched through the streets of Port-of-Spain to­wards the Po­lice Bar­racks in St James

Hun­dreds of cit­i­zens, who were un­able to se­cure a seat or a favourable stand­ing po­si­tion at the Sa­van­nah, lined the streets for the pa­rade

Many spec­ta­tors, es­pe­cial­ly chil­dren, were seen in­ter­act­ing with pa­rade par­tic­i­pants, who even al­lowed some to pose for pho­tographs on their mo­tor­cy­cles

The pa­rade was at­tend­ed by Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley, sev­er­al mem­bers of his Cab­i­net, act­ing Chief Jus­tice Nolan Bereaux, for­eign diplo­mats and Ja­maican Prime Min­is­ter An­drew Hol­ness, who was the spe­cial guest at this year’s Di­a­mond Ju­bilee cel­e­bra­tions

There were no Op­po­si­tion MPs in at­ten­dance

Sev­er­al at­ten­dees in­ter­viewed by Guardian Me­dia said that they would usu­al­ly at­tend the pa­rade and were not left dis­ap­point­ed by this year’s edi­tion

San Fer­nan­do res­i­dent John Michael Chadee said he and his wife left their son with his grand­par­ents so they could leave home at 5 am to at­tend

“It was a won­der­ful and phe­nom­e­nal dis­play by the Reg­i­ment,” Chadee said

A res­i­dent of Pleas­antville, who on­ly iden­ti­fied her­self as Ir­ma, said: “It could not have been bet­ter. It was beau­ti­ful.”

A young Port-of-Spain res­i­dent, who on­ly iden­ti­fied her­self as Aaliyah, said she was hap­py that the pa­rade re­turned, as she had at­tend­ed it an­nu­al­ly with her par­ents since she was a child

“Af­ter two whole years of no pa­rade, this was amaz­ing. It was ex­cep­tion­al and mind-blow­ing,” she said

Dur­ing her “Toast to the Na­tion” event at the Na­tion­al Acad­e­my for the Per­form­ing Arts (NA­PA), Pres­i­dent Weekes ad­mit­ted she was break­ing with tra­di­tion as she sought to high­light PM Hol­ness’ pres­ence

“It is not nor­mal to give salu­ta­tions or pick out one per­son,” Weekes said

“I am go­ing to give my­self some pres­i­den­tial li­cense this morn­ing. If any of you have a prob­lem, speak with me af­ter,” she added.