By Victoria Cepeda
The Dominican Republic, where I was born, is a country that along with Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola. It was the first area in the New World to receive the full imprint of Spanish colonial policy. The oldest cathedral, monastery, and hospital in the Americas were established there. Also charted in Santo Domingo was the “new world’s” first university in 1538.
Dominicans initially gained their independence from Spain in 1821 but were under French and Haitian rule for over 20 years. “Los Trinitarios”, headed by Juan Pablo Duarte, Ramon Matias Mella and Francisco Rosario Sanchez, led the revolt that eventually freed The Dominican Republic from Haitian rule on February 27, 1844. An honorable mention to Maria Trinidad Sanchez who we can credit for the design of the Dominican flag and for displaying a fierce patriotism that eventually led to her death. Thereafter becoming the heroine of the Independence movement.
Therefore, I would like to wish all my Dominican brothers and sisters “un Feliz Dia de la Independencia”. May our country remain sovereign despite all its stumbles and shortfalls. Above all, may we never forget Juan Pablo Duarte’s call to arms when he said that “Vivir sin Patria, es lo mismo que vivir sin Honor.”
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