Kittitians pay tribute to U.S. founding father

In a ceremony that took place at historically significant sites in downtown Manhattan on June 7, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis Dr. Denzil L. Douglas joined with the island’s Senator Ricky Skerritt, chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), John Herzog, founder and chairman Emeritus of the Museum of American Finance, Arthur Piccolo, chairman of the Bowling Green Association to pay tribute to Alexander Hamilton, a founding father of the U.S. who was born in Nevis.

Alexander Hamilton has been called “America’s most important immigrant.” Prime Minister Douglas said: “Today we recognize the role of Alexander Hamilton, a citizen of our twin-island Federation. “It fills me with great pride to be able to participate in the events of this day, to pay homage to one of our great citizens and to see the flag of St. Kitts & Nevis flying high above downtown Manhattan.”

Beginning with a visit to the Museum of American Finance, PM Douglas and Sen. Skerritt reflected on Hamilton’s role in establishing the U.S. Federal financial system that would serve as the cornerstone of the U.S. economy. The delegation then made a brief stop at Federal Hall, site of the first U.S. capitol and where Hamilton became the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury in 1789.

“With Caribbean Week taking place in New York City and June also being Caribbean-American Heritage month, it seemed only appropriate for us to gather in recognition of one of the most prominent historical personalities ever to hail from the Caribbean, Alexander Hamilton,” Sen. Skerritt said. “This is truly an historic occasion that illustrates an inextricable link between the Caribbean and the United States.”

Next, the dignitaries moved to Trinity Church to visit Hamilton’s grave site where they were joined by Hugh Riley, secretary general of the CTO. There, Sen. Skerritt delivered brief remarks recognizing both Hamilton’s role and the link he provides between St. Kitts & Nevis and the USA. Rev. David Simon offered a brief invocation, after which PM Douglas personally laid a wreath at the site of Hamilton’s grave.

Following a short walk to Bowling Green, site of the famous Wall Street Bull statue, PM Douglas gave a short speech and raised the flag of St. Kitts & Nevis, where it would then fly alongside the flag of the U.S. for the remainder of the day.

To conclude the commemoratory activities, participants and media guests were treated to lunch at Fraunces Tavern, former site of certain offices of the U.S. Department of the Treasury during Hamilton’s day.