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Opinion & Analysis

Marlene Hassan Nahon - National Day message

Since National Day became a fixture on our calendar, it has become an occasion to celebrate the strong unity among the people who call this Rock our home.

This is a unity which we have shown to the world on many occasions.

We showed it in the 1967 Referendum, which this day marks as its anniversary. We showed it in 2002. We showed it more recently in the EU Referendum. We have shown it in the Estadio Algarve, and we have shown it at many events where our flag has flown proudly. And, of course, we show it on this day every year, where we all take to our streets in red and white and remind the world of the strong bond of Gibraltarianism that is evident in this corner of the continent.

It is a unity which has been challenged on many occasions but which has remained steadfast and robust for over three hundred years.

But as well as celebrating this harmony, National Day should also be an opportunity to honour our differences.

In the time since Admiral Rooke’s forces first landed on our Rock, Gibraltar has become a cosmopolitan community of different races, ethnicities, nationalities, religions, ages and classes, all of which have bonded to make our home a better place.

Ours is a community where distinct personalities and populations can always come together in a spirit of peace and friendship and, in a time when so much fear is shown towards difference, it is important that we celebrate our pluralistic society with pride.

Our red and white is, in reality, made up of a much wider palette of hues, all of them reflecting the uniqueness that makes us Gibraltarian.

Let us enjoy celebrating our National Day. Let us enjoy celebrating our identity and, above all, let us enjoy celebrating the united people that we are.

Happy National Day.