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Crossroads of history

LettersCrossroads of history

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Dear Editor,

Many years ago, I listened to one of Belize’s greatest orators, William Faux, as he stood on the stage of the Bliss Auditorium in Belize City and, in a famous and most quoted poem by Josiah Gilbert Holland, stirred the emotions of many in the audience that night. In faraway Nigeria, I just learnt about the most recent Guatemalan aggression a couple days ago in the Sarstoon, and yet another round of the blame game.

Today, Belize stands at the crossroads of history. The future of my tiny, incredibly beautiful and richly endowed, but highly vulnerable, nation, lies only in the Hands of God. However, God only helps those who help themselves. The desire expressed in this poem that I heard so many years ago— “GOD, GIVE US MEN!” by Josiah Gilbert Holland—is most relevant to the situation at home:

God, give us men! A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office can not buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor, men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty, and in private thinking;
For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.

Therese Belisle-Nweke

P.S. I recently found the above letter in my files, originally dated March 15, 2016. I doubt if it was ever used by your newspaper, as it is not in my publication records. But it merely shows that as far back as March 2016 we have been beating our gums and tapping fingers on laptops, or whatever, on this most vexing and shameful issue. Yet the beat continues.

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