Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, in her message to mark National Heroes Day today, says that Jamaican youth and children, “in whose hands rest our future and the great legacy of our amazing heritage”, must be the guardians of the country’s proud heritage.
Following is the full text of the prime minister’s message:
I extend warm National Heroes Day greetings to Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora, and welcome the many friends of Jamaica who are visiting with us at this time. Today, I salute the people of Jamaica, the heroic makers of our proud history.
Today, we celebrate our heritage, strengthened by the struggles and achievements of the past, conscious of the challenges and important accomplishments of the present, and hopeful for a brighter future together. Today, we salute the adults and senior citizens, and hail the Jamaican youth and children, in whose hands rest our future and the great legacy of our amazing heritage. For generations to come, they must be the guardians of our proud heritage.
My fellow Jamaicans, we have come this far as a nation on the wings of the brave struggles of our ancestors. We have come this far as a people anchored by our hard work, our creativity and dynamism and strength of our boundless Jamaican spirit. We have crossed many rivers and there are many more mountains to climb on our journey to progress and prosperity for all.
The Government that I lead fully understands the struggles of the Jamaican people, and is committed to realising our collective hopes and dreams of peace, social and economic progress for Jamaica.
We walk in the example of our ancestors who, despite the dictates of colonialism, used their own heroic efforts to improve their lives.They ensured that the 18th Century was better than the 17th Century, that 1938 was better than 1838, and that 2015 is better than 1915.
That is why we must continue on the progressive path we are embarked on to build Jamaica together.
I hope that, as a people, we will NEVER allow the sacrifices of our ancestors to go in vain. Let us never allow our circumstances to overshadow the great contributions of the Right Excellent Queen Nanny of the Maroons, Sam Sharpe, Paul Bogle, George William Gordon, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Norman Washington Manley, and Sir Alexander Bustamante.
Individually and collectively, our heroes and heroine destabilised the colonial regime and advanced the social, political and economic freedom of Jamaica. They passed the baton to us; and as a land of world record relay athletes, we surely can, and will, anchor the race to the finish line of economic independence, progress and prosperity for ALL our people.
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