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Grand Rassemblement: Intervention of the Pr
Grand Rassemblement: Intervention of the Pr
Grand Rassemblement: Speech by President GIBBS
Grand Rassemblement: Speech by President GIBBS
Grand Rassemblement: Speech by President GIBBS
Grand Rassemblement: Speech by President GIBBS
Grand Rassemblement: Speech by President GIBBS
Sunday October 08 2017

** Speech by President Gibbs **

Chers amis,
Hello everyone,
Welcome and thank you for coming to share this moment with us.
I am very moved to see you so many here on our dear Marigot Sea Front, which represents to my eyes and in the eyes of many Saint-Martinois, a symbolic place.
It was here that the ancients used to meet. They liked to meet in the Market Square, which was set up not so long ago - until the middle of the 90 years - under the great Sand Box Tree (in front of the sea bar).
Ironically, this majestic tree, IRMA has uprooted it. We were obliged to remove it, not later than Friday, with a big pinch in the heart. This story is symptomatic of what we have been living for a month.
Everything changed.
On September 6, almost a month ago to the day, our island has suffered the thunderbolts of IRMA. I say the thunderbolts because the destructive force of this category 5 + or even 6 hurricane had never existed so far in our region and very rarely elsewhere in the world.

This hurricane will be engraved in our memories, because we all - without exception - lost a lot. There will be before and after IRMA, as there was before and after LUIS in 1995.

The hardest thing to accept for the man and the elected man that I am is the human record of this climate catastrophe. 11 lives directly mowed, eleven families plunged into trouble and disarray.
On this gathering day, I have a very emotional thought for the victims of IRMA, for their families. We express our full support and our deepest condolences.
We will know, in due course, to pay an official homage to our missing.
Saint-Martin has lost a lot, but we have also learned a lot. We have seen that in the face of adversity some - and fortunately the most numerous - have shown their best by showing generosity and benevolence. While others have unveiled their darkest face. I think of the looters.
For those, I know that justice will continue its action so that their actions do not go unpunished.
Last April, the elected members of the Territorial Council committed themselves to Saint-Martin, its prosperity and the success of its youth.
IRMA must not divert our path, but rather strengthen our determination and give us the opportunity to go further.
Do not be deceived. It is up to us Saint-Martin to raise our country.
Of course, we are accompanied by the highest authorities of the state, by the Prefect and her teams at the local level, but it is up to us to decide our destiny and to give impetus to the economic and to the reconstruction of our territory.
I have said it many times already, "I will not give up anything." I will do everything possible to obtain just compensation and financial compensation in line with the damage we have suffered and the legitimate expectations of our people.
IRMA was a tremendous shock, to the very point where our local administration was strongly affected in the same way as all of you.
We have overcome this ordeal, our administration is in order, and I have a thought for all the agents who have suffered damage and yet have to carry out their missions of public service with our population.
Dear friends, if I have gathered you today, it is above all to convey to you a message of hope. Together, we will rebuild our "country", I count on you.
We will advance as we know how to do, working each one at our level, in cohesion and unity.
Cooperation, solidarity and unity are essential values ​​which have been stronger since the 18th of September and I can only feel proud of my people when I see the results of our efforts a month later.
I am proud of your resilience, of your personal investment, alongside the companies, the armed forces and the many volunteers who gave their time to clean up Saint-Martin.
Proud of the unfailing generosity of our fellow citizens to those who have lost everything. These are the true St. Martin values ​​and I congratulate you.
I thank the pastors who responded to this call to the rally. Many churches were destroyed, and it was natural to allow them to gather their faithful on this waterfront, damaged but still there.
************************************************** ****
My dear citizens,
This "get together event" we want to get yours, to give you the chance to meet and to share a few hours together.
IRMA can be used face to face with a white sheet. We have the unexpected opportunity to redesign the new landscape of Saint-Martin. It is an extraordinary challenge that carries with it a huge hope for the future of our island that we love so much and for the future of the upcoming generations.

With IRMA, we have a knee on the ground, but we know how to get up all together. And I see already in your eyes that we will go through it.
The times are tough, but I want to reassure you that tomorrow will come better days.
Together, let's make Saint-Martin smile again!
Thank you

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