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New Guyana President David Granger and Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, witness the hoisting of the Golden Arrowhead at the wreath laying ceremony in observance of Guyana’s 49th Independence Anniversary on May 26, 2015. (GINA IMAGE)

News Americas, BRICKDAM, Guyana, Weds. May 27, 2015: The Caribbean’s newest head of state yesterday braved rain to lead his nation in celebration of the 49th independence anniversary at the newly refurbished Independence Arch on Brickdam, Guyana.

New Guyana President David Granger joined thousands of Guyanese early Tuesday morning in a wreath laying ceremony and hoisting of the country’s flag, the Golden Arrowhead, to mark the South American nation’s independence from Britain on May 26, 1966.

Also joining the celebration was new Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and his wife Seeta Nagamootoo as well as Guyana’s new First Lady, Sandra Granger and new ministers of the cabinet.

Upon his arrival, the President took the Presidential salute, which was followed by a two-minute silence for those who struggled for Guyana’s Independence.

In his address to the nation, President Granger said the event should be seen as a solemn remembrance of the lives and labor of Guyana’s heroes.

Guyanese workers, he said were the true pioneers of independence as they were the ones who rebelled against British colonialism, first during the distress after the first and second world wars in 1918 and 1945, respectively.

Independence, said Granger, is a means to an end but “the end must be to the changing of our society and the revolutionizing of the economy.”

“Let us resolve therefore to work together to change our society into one of greater equality, let us strive to change our economy into one of greater prosperity, let us change our country to a nation of love, a nation of unity,” he added.

Later in the afternoon, a celebration of the independence and the new APNU+AFC government’s public swearing in was held at the country’s National Stadium at Providence on the East Bank of Demerara.

The event saw over 19,000 people showing up with flags in tow to witness and celebrate at a pre-show that featured musicians, dancers and a color guard and guard of honor by the country’s Guyana Defense Force and the Guyana Police Force.

Also attending the event was former Commonwealth Secretary General, Guyana-born Sir Shridath Ramphal and Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Jerome Stuart.

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