Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

We must build on what was a perfect day

Wednesday was a truly wonderful day for the people of this island, north and south, with religion and political differences cast aside like a well-worn shoe that has outlived its usefulness.

Everybody was a winner, with the Queen and Martin McGuinness taking centre stage. We not only witnessed a boy from the bogside in Derry/Londonderry, but also a high-ranking member of the IRA, shaking hands with the Queen.

This handshake undoubtedly signified that the once-held feelings of hate between the communities here are on the way to being relegated to the past, where they belong.

The challenge that lies ahead for those who govern us is to continue on their present course in creating a safe, stable society of equal opportunity for everyone.

Our political leaders must, therefore, put on hold their personal desires, for or against Ireland's unification, and give this society the chance to march forward in unison.

They must not fail the people on this issue, for we cannot and must not ever again allow ourselves to be so divided.

The challenge for our political leaders is enormous, but it can be overcome. I beg them not to fail.

HARRY STEPHENSON

Kircubbin, Co Down

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