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On a serious note

Dear Editor,

As a concerned citizen, I stood on the side as I watched our brother Benji’s casket pass along and said to myself, “There goes the remains of a wonderful and brave man, who will be no longer with us”. After everyone went along, a young man came by pushing a wheelbarrow shouting, "Come and get some cold ones, I’ve got cold beers and water". This guy is originally from St. Kitts, but has lived here for many years, and considers himself a St. Maartener.

If he can do that, why can’t some of our young men do the same? But no, we are too proud to be pushing a wheelbarrow through the streets of St. Maarten selling drinks, or anything else for that matter. There is no more love in this country, nobody seems to care anymore.

Parents, you need to step up to the plate and act as responsible parents; our children didn’t ask to be here, we brought them into this world, of course, with the help of the Lord all mighty Saviour.

Our generation got a lot of spanking when it was needed, today there are laws telling you how you should correct your child. And because of the way we were raised by our parents, we were never involved with the law.

Today, my parents are no longer, it’s left up to us now to continue where they left off and that’s why we would always cherish our parents, even though they are not in our presence, but still within our hearts. Thanks to them for all the spanking we got, when it was necessary. Sometimes mothers are left to raise their children all by themselves, while the men just wander off roaming the streets, and leaving their responsibilities behind.

Oh, I almost forgot, on that sad day when Officer Benji was shot, I had just finished a tour and during the tour even if you don’t mention it, they would always ask, what is the crime rate on the island. I would always be honest by letting know, that in spite of us being one island, shared by two nations with open borders, our crime is just about three percent. I then I found out when I got to the pier and having seen my people off the bus, a security officer told me that a police officer had just been shot to death in town area.

Here we are trying to help build our Island while others are destroying it. Government officials, parents and concerned citizens, I don’t believe that you all realize how serious our problems are.

I remember when Carnival cruise ships started coming on Saturdays a few years back during off season, because the captain of one of the Carnival cruise ships stopped travelling to Antigua (I stand to be corrected if it’s not that country) because a couple that were on that cruise ship were killed. There was also another incident in St. Kitts a few years back when a tour bus full of tourists was stopped and robbed. That left the country with a serious impact.

There is nothing else for us here, but just tourism. We just can’t sit by and let others destroy this friendly Island. I believe and this is my personal opinion, that everyone who enters the Island should change whatever currency they have to our currency, which is the Dutch guilder. Any country you go to, you have to change your currency to their currency to do what you have to do, and those that accept your currency (US dollar), would give you back change in their currency. People are coming here for the US dollar, no offence to anyone, but it is reality.

Finally, elected officials, wake up and do what should be done to save this country and stop using the people whom you’ve asked to elect you to office. Try and make us, the people, proud of you for at least once. We are not asking for much, just make us proud.

You’ll need our votes again.

 

Lemuel Fleming

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Friday Oct. 16, 2015
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