GOUYAVE: U.S. officials joined leaders from Grenada and its eastern Caribbean neighbours to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the American invasion of Grenada last Friday.
U.S. Marine General John F. Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command; Larry Palmer, U.S. Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean; and families of the 19 U.S. service members killed and U.S. veterans of the mission marked what is now called Thanksgiving Day in Grenada.
Hosted in Gouyave by Grenada Prime Minister Keith Mitchell and Governor General Cecile La Grenade, the officials attended Thanksgiving Day services, laid a wreath at the Intervention Memorial Monument and attended a ceremony honouring the U.S. service members who lost their lives in the operation.
They were joined by approximately 300 members of the Caribbean Peace Forces, fielded from Jamaica, Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.
“We are grateful, first of all, for the heroism shown by Caribbean and U.S. soldiers who, 30 years ago today, answered the call…to restore order and stability to Grenada,” Palmer told a gathering at the St. John’s Anglican Church where an ecumenical service was held. “In a special way too, we remember the 19 servicemen who gave the ultimate sacrifice in this noble cause.”
The names of the U.S. troops killed during the operation were read aloud by their families and members of the university’s faculty and a moment of silence was observed in tribute to their sacrifice.
The U.S. invasion of Grenada followed the killing of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop on October 19, 1983, along with three members of his Cabinet and four others.
On the morning of October 25, 1983, U.S. forces invaded the island with a parachute assault by U.S. Army Rangers at Point Salines and a Marine assault at Pearl.
The date of the invasion is now a national holiday in Grenada and the Point Salines International Airport was renamed in honour of Bishop.