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Sharma Solomon- Today, 58 years have passed since that fateful day when more than forty of Linden’s own were massacred on the Demerara River as they travelled home on the Son Chapman launch. The launch exploded, from a bomb blast, at 1600 hours on Monday, July 6, 1964.
It has been said that ‘To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.’ How very true! The men, women, and children who died on the Son Chapman 58 years ago live on in the hearts and minds of their families and friends. And the people of Linden and Region 10.
Many of us alive today never knew the men, women, and children of the Son Chapman massacre. Yet, we remember them and reflect on their experience because – by their deaths – we have an example of what hatred and brutality can lead to…senseless loss of life and endless suffering.
Incidents such as the Son Chapman massacre and the July18, 2012 tragedy must never again occur. Never again. We must take the lessons taught by tragedies such as these to guide our actions in the here and now. For our society to allow such tragedies to reoccur would be indicative of our collective unwillingness to learn and grow as a people.
The survivors of the Son Chapman – 6 crewmen and 26 passengers – must also be remembered for they represent God’s never ending mercy and the resilience of the people of Linden and Region 10.
July 6, 1964 experience has made us stronger. It has sealed our determination to stand up and fight for what is just and fair. To never give up even in the face of adversity and challenges. To believe in ourselves and our abilities to strive and thrive, despite the odds.
The people of Linden and Region 10 are strong and unrelenting.
May God rest the souls of the men, women, and children who suffered on the Son Chapman.
And may God bless the people of Linden and Region 10.