National Heroes Day is the largest national celebration of heritage and culture in the Cayman Islands.
National Heroes Day was first held in 2003 as part of the Cayman Islands' year long quincentennial celebrations and was always intended to be the islandsí largest national celebration. The devastation wrought by Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, thwarted subsequent plans to observe National Heroes Day in the proper manner until 2007.
Its return to the annual calendar amidst all the traditional fanfare was a resounding success, drawing crowds from all over the islands and evoking a spirit of community and pride which stirred the senses and moved the soul.
The celebrations bring out members of society from across the islands, especially those who come to pay tribute to the brave men and women who are immortalized on the wall of honour. Caymanís two national heroes are also represented at National Heroes Day, Ms. Sybil Ione McLaughlin (in person of course) and the late Mr. Jim Bodden (by family members).
Traditional elements of the day include uniform parades, a childrenís choir, world-class live music and laying of wreaths in remembrance. National Heroes Day also provides the platform to mark other events of note, such as last yearís rededication of ĎTraditioní, the Cayman Islands Seamanís memorial statue. Official proceedings are usually followed by a less formal gathering of friends and family accompanied by refreshments and entertainment.
National Heroes Day takes place annually in Heroes Square in George Town at the end of January. It is a unique occasion for the people of the Cayman Islands to unite in celebration of a proud past and a future filled with hope.