JIS News

The celebration of National Heritage Week affords all Jamaicans a very special opportunity to explore the great moments in our history.to recall the brave deeds of our National Heroes, reflect on the resilience of our founding fathers and honour citizens, who have excelled in service to our country as we resolve to strengthen the foundations of our nation.
This year’s activities under the theme: “Celebrating Our Heritage…The Strength of Our Nation”, allow us to take special note of some of the diverse traditions in our heritage that bind us as a people.
Generations of Jamaicans can speak proudly about our National Heroes – the nation-builders who fought for what they believed. Our heroes were, indeed, people who stood up for noble ideals, fought against injustice; and through their numerous acts of courage helped to shape the history of our country and chart the course for a better Jamaica.
Our cultural heritage, enshrined in the nation’s historic monuments, museums, and collections, as well as our traditions, oral history and the collective psyche of our people, provides us with the resources for the education of future generations of Jamaicans.
As a people we must maintain our traditions – those “customs and practices” which make us who we are, and which help to identify us as Jamaicans wherever we go.
Our natural environment is a critical aspect of our natural heritage that we should not ignore. We must maintain those environmental practices that will preserve the nation’s flora and fauna, and ensure sustained social and economic benefits for all citizens, at home and abroad.
Despite the many challenges that we continue to face as a developing country, we cannot ignore the fact that for a small nation, given our population and size, we have made tremendous strides in many fields.
As I travel around Jamaica, I continue to be inspired by the passion and pride that our people display in their communities. I am buoyed by the hopes and aspirations of our young people. I am heartened by the goodwill that our senior citizens demonstrate in their efforts to pass on their knowledge to the next generation. Yes, we face many challenges in our society; but, as the poet said, “.hope springs eternal.”
The recipients of our National Honours and Awards reflect the dreams, aspirations, innovativeness, determination, resilience, talent, and the uncanny ability of Jamaicans to “tun wi han’ and mek fashion”.
I call on all Jamaicans as we celebrate National Heroes Day, to pause and reflect on the strength of our heritage, recognizing that the past is the seed that brings forth the harvest of the future. In other words, our heritage is ours to build on, and if we understand our past, and learn from the experiences of our predecessors, then we can indeed, look to the future full of hope and confidence.