Hundreds pay tribute to Lynch in silent march

POSTED: 05/13/11 12:25 PM

St. Maarten – Sylvia Maria Lynch, a student of the Genevieve De Weever School did not have many friends in life, but hundreds attended a silent march in her memory because of the manner in which her life was snuffed out. Lynch was killed in a traffic accident on May 6. Just under week later hundreds turned up for Thursday’s silent march from her school to the spot where she was killed.

As the clock struck six, a group consisting of just over 100 people led a procession that was accompanied by the New Generation Status Band. The amount of people marching multiplied as the procession made its way along the route. Some carried flowers, some images of Lynch and one person carried a sign that read, ‘Undertakers Love Over Takers’, a reminder of how Lynch lost her life.

When marchers arrived at the spot where the accident occurred, the words, RIP Sylvia, Love Forever were written on the face of a huge boulder. A crucifix and several bouquets of flowers were also laid at the boulder’s base.

A short time later emotions flowed as candles were lit. The outpouring began with members of her immediate family. Other close relatives and friends followed soon after, with some having to be led away from the huge gathering that completely blocked the public road.

United People’s (UP) Party Faction Leader Romain Laville was moved by the occasion.

“I have a seven year old daughter and I too am from Sucker Garden and when I heard it this tragedy hit close to home. One of the things I think we have to do is to revisit our laws and we should not try to create new laws and I think that these matters have the attention of the Justice Minister,” Laville said.

The MP added, “We have seen people from the various districts come out in support, this is something that is close to every one’s heart and when a life is taken tragically like that, the entire community comes together to show their solidarity. But every one has to play their part and act on the laws that are in the books.”

La Ville took into consideration the fact that there is a shortage of police, but said that he would welcome the idea of having officers posted in the various districts. He pointed out one reason for the acute shortage of police is that all officers must speak, read and write Dutch. The MP wants to see that changed.

“The Minister of Justice said that he would like to see more police from St Maarten on the force, but that can only happen if English is the first language and Dutch is the second so students from schools like the St Maarten Academy can also become officers,” Laville pointed out.

Justice Minister Roland Duncan is on record that he plans to start a training course for all uniformed forces where English is the language of instruction and Dutch will be taught as a second language.

Philomina, a concerned resident of Sucker Garden was happy at the huge turnout.

“Young and old was present here in Sucker Garden and this alone shows how concerned the public is on this matter. I hope that this will bring awareness to the justice system because this cannot continue because the public is very upset on how the matter was handled,” she said.


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