45 years and beyond

The power to effect change lies not only in the hands of the few but in the collective will of the people.

The new President of Malta, Myriam Spiteri Debono, has been sworn in in the year when the country commemorates the 45th anniversary since it became a Republic on 13th December 1974.

The transition from an independent British Commonwealth realm to a Republic marked a pivotal moment in Malta’s history, symbolising our determination to chart our own course. It was a declaration of full sovereignty, a proclamation of our inherent right to shape our destiny free from external constraints.

As I wander through the streets of Valletta, I am reminded of the resilience and spirit of our forebears who fought tirelessly for the freedoms we enjoy today. I find myself reflecting on the journey that has shaped our nation’s identity and the promise it holds for our collective future.

Malta’s journey towards republicanism is not just a chapter in our history books; it is a living testament to the values of democracy, equality, and justice. It is a reminder that the power to effect change lies not only in the hands of the few but in the collective will of the people. As a young woman, I am inspired by the courage and tenacity of those who came before me, paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable society.

The past four and a half decades have seen Malta undergo remarkable transformations, evolving into a dynamic and multicultural nation. Our cultural tapestry is woven with threads of diversity, each strand contributing to the rich mosaic of Maltese identity. From the ancient temples of Ġgantija to the bustling shopping streets of Sliema, Malta’s heritage is a celebration of our shared past and a testament to our enduring spirit.

As we celebrate this milestone, we must also confront the challenges that lie ahead. From climate change to economic inequality, our generation faces a myriad of pressing issues that demand bold and innovative solutions. Yet, amidst the uncertainty, there is a sense of optimism and possibility—a belief that, together, we can forge a brighter future for Malta and all its inhabitants.

We are the custodians of Malta’s legacy, charged with safeguarding its values and nurturing its potential. It is a task that requires courage, empathy, and a steadfast commitment to justice. But I am confident that, with determination and unity, we can overcome any obstacle that stands in our way.

As we look ahead, let us draw strength from the past and embrace the challenges of the future. Let us honour the sacrifices of those who came before us and ensure that their legacy endures for generations to come. For, in the heart of every Maltese citizen, beats the rhythm of a Republic – a symbol of our shared aspirations, our collective dreams, and our unbreakable bond as a nation.

Photo: Pierre Sammut/DOI

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