Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has highlighted the empty chairs at the annual National Heroes Day Wreath-laying ceremony in Dorsetshire Hill.
He made the observation during his address at the event Tuesday morning, while discussing the contributions of East Indians to the development of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Gonsalves noted that in 1882 Indian indentured servants protested against colonialism and the conditions of indentureship.
“Dozens of them walked from Argyle, barefoot, came to town to protest…” he said.
“You didn’t have roads. Remember is donkey cart and cattle used to draw the cart. And, in torn clothing, barefooted, walked over eight miles from Argyle to town to protest.
“Well, we are so comfortable today that we can’t even get the chairs filled up here on National Heroes morning at 8 o’clock. I just provide that as a self-criticism. That’s why we must not desecrate the future and we have to read and study the future,” he said, echoing a poem by Vincentian, Ellsworth “Shake” Keane, which he quoted during his speech.