Jamaicans, we stand proud as our theme for this year’s anniversary - One Nation, One People - reflects the rich cultural diversity of our people. This is indicated in our National Motto, “Out of Many One People”. Therefore, let us continue to celebrate our achievements with pride and purpose, knowing that we are able to face the challenges with hope, in faith and united. We give thanks for the countless blessings we have enjoyed so far. We have taken great strides in the development of our homeland. We celebrate our stable and improving economy providing for opportunities to better family life contributing to national good. We enjoy our rich cultural heritage which has allowed us to celebrate icons like the late Hon. Louise Bennett Coverley, OM, OJ, as this marks her Centenary (100th) birthday. We pay respect to our leaders at home and across the Diaspora. We have impacted the world excelling in sports, science and technology, politics, music and entertainment, academia, as well as influenced policy in international relations.
My fellow Jamaicans, we are a resilient people, selfless warriors, giving much of talent, time and resources to achieve the goals set for nation building, our communities and our personal pursuits. We pay tribute to our ancestors and those who have left a legacy of achievements on which we continue to build. We give thanks to our nationals across the Diaspora who, without measure, have remained committed and passionate to Jamaica’s national development through steadfast support and patriotism. We salute the peoples of the USA with whom we have molded amutually beneficial bonds of friendship. As our rising reggae artist Koffee says “gratitude is a must”.
As we celebrate the true meaning of Independence, let it be a time of thanksgiving, reflection and empowerment. Let us understand that the continued successes of Jamaica rest on the shoulders of all of us. Let us realize that we are unique, powerful and wonderfully made. We must continue to free ourselves and take responsibility, individually,of the issues that hold us back as a nation. As we celebrate the positives in our homeland today, let us continue to make the changes we would like to see “Oh Father if it’s going to be, it’s up to me” as we continue to strive for national development at home, staying true to the 2030 vision - making Jamaica a place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.
As Consul General of Jamaica, I remain committed, passionate and supportive to the work of the Diaspora, and certainly have been inspired and encouraged by the next generation of Jamaicans stepping out to play their part in improving the quality of life for Jamaicans at home and across the Diaspora.
Let us unite in prayer, giving thanks to the Almighty as we celebrate our accomplishments, and God’s blessings as we enjoy the festivities and continue to build hopes for a brighter future for Jamaica, land we love. I say “Let’s do it!”