Greetings to my fellow Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora as we celebrate Heritage Week.
It is important that in our quest to build a bright future for Jamaica, we pause to reflect on the past and renew our hope in our people, our land and our heritage. Heritage week offers us that opportunity to reconnect with our roots and embrace the possibilities they offer us in the future.
Our history, heritage and culture are important factors in determining and identifying who we are as Jamaicans. They tell us who we must still be, and where we must still go as we build the nation.
The journey of nationhood has many challenges that either originate locally or are caused by external factors. But despite our setbacks and the events that sometimes cause us to despair, we must believe in our people, our land and our heritage, and, encouraged by the knowledge of the strength and courage of our heroes, ensure that Jamaica becomes a peaceful, productive and prosperous nation.
We are getting closer to our own 50th year of becoming an independent State within the Commonwealth of Nations. It is important that as Jamaicans, at home and in the Diaspora, we consolidate our efforts, our talents and our resources, so that together we can achieve the dreams and visions of our heroes. May the challenging words of National Hero the Rt. Excellent Norman Manley be realised in your generation:
“Who with blood in his veins and pride in his heart would not give himself to service, when to serve is to help build your own country, for his own people, for your children and mine?
Encouraged by the life and work of our heroes, Jamaicans continue to excel at home and in the global arena in areas such as academics, sports, scientific research, among others. Within these achievements are the seeds of prosperity which I believe we must harness for the good of the nation.
As we celebrate our heritage and the contributions of our national heroes, I encourage all Jamaicans to get into action now for the sake of our nation. Believe in yourselves and each other, so that together we can make Jamaica a habitable place.