Tribute to US Founding Father

Prime Minister Denzil Douglas.
AP Photo/Richard Drew

Prime Minister Denzil Douglas could not join nationals for the 209th year anniversary ceremony at Trinity Church in downtown Manhattan in order to opine on the merits of his twin-island U.S. hero but did not miss the opportunity of adding his voice to the celebrated list who offered reflections and kudos on the many contributions of Alexander Hamilton, America’s first treasury secretary.

“Hamilton developed a sound economic vision for his adopted country and, as the first secretary of the Treasury, implemented that plan and put America on the road to greatness,” Prime Minister Douglas commented in his remarks. “The people of St. Kitts & Nevis join the people of the United States of America in honoring the extraordinary professional accomplishments of Alexander Hamilton. As a son of Nevis and adopted son of the U.S., Hamilton is one of the ties that bind our two nations together.” “Born in our twin-island Federation, Alexander Hamilton has been called ‘America’s most important immigrant’ and is recognized as one of history’s prominent figures,” added Senator Ricky Skerritt, minister of tourism & international transport, trade, Industry, commerce & consumer affairs. “As his many achievements are recognized, it fills me with great pride to have the flag of St. Kitts & Nevis flying at his grave site and to add my respects to those of the event attendees in paying tribute to this extraordinarily accomplished individual.”

Nevis Premier Vance Amory also sent plaudits saying; “That a little island in the Caribbean could have such an incredible umbilical cord to the greatest nation in modern history is in itself something truly amazing and speaks to the everlasting bond that binds us together.”

On June 12, the grave site activities included the laying of a commemorative wreath which was placed at Hamilton’s grave next to the St. Kitts & Nevis national flag.

The ceremonies were part of a four-day Celebrate Hamilton 2013 program of events taking place in New York and New Jersey that is sponsored by the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society. One of the highlights of the occasion included a duel remembrance.

Hamilton was mortally wounded when he and sitting vice president Aaron Burr publicly took arms against each other to settle a dispute. Reportedly, on July 11, 1804 at Weehawken in New Jersey, Burr shot and mortally wounded Hamilton. Hamilton was carried to the home of William Bayard on the Manhattan shore, where he died at approximately 2:00 p.m. the following day.

In 2004, for the duel’s bicentennial anniversary, descendants of Burr and Hamilton held a re-enactment of the famous duel, near the Hudson River. In the re-enactment, Douglas Hamilton, fifth-great-grandson of Alexander Hamilton, faced Antonio Burr, a descendant of Aaron Burr’s cousin. More than 1,000 people attended the re-enactment, including an estimated 60 descendants of Hamilton and 40 members of the Aaron Burr Association. tour of the Alexander Hamilton US Customs House, rare access to original Hamilton writings and personal artifacts at Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library and more. Alexander Hamilton was one of America’s first constitutional lawyers, the first Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and one of the founding fathers of the United States of America. Hamilton was born in Nevis, either on Jan. 11, 1755 or 1757. There are discrepancies with the exact year. Undoubtedly, he died July 11, 1804.

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