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National Security Minister, Senator Dwight Nelson, said that the Emancipation and Independence celebrations provide an opportunity for Jamaicans at home and abroad to reflect on the contributions of the national heroes and the progress made towards nation building.
He was addressing the anniversary service to commemorate Jamaica’s 48th year of Independence held on Sunday (July 25) at the Kendall Community Church of God in Miami, Florida.
Minister Nelson said that Jamaica has achieved much over the last 48 years, in the pursuit of social and economic development, noting that nationals have left an indelible mark on the world in the areas of music, sports and culture, among others.
He stated that Jamaicans remain a resilient people, despite the challenges, and the 50-year Independence celebrations in 2012, will provide an opportunity “to concretise the talent, resilience and unity that have brought us this far.”
He expressed gratitude to Jamaicans in the Diaspora for their continued commitment and contribution to the country’s development. “Like you in the Diaspora, we at home are proud of our country,” he said.
The Minister, in the meantime, commended the organisers of the service for a “delightful and entertaining evening,” expressing how much he “felt at home” as he fellowshipped with the South Florida Diaspora.
Consul General to Miami, Sandra Grant Griffiths, in her welcoming remarks, stated that Jamaica continues to rise after a challenging year, socially, economically and politically “through the combined will and efforts of Jamaicans at home and abroad.”
The Consul General praised the spirit of unity and purpose, particularly during “this season of national thanksgiving and celebration” as Jamaicans continue to support their homeland.
The function included recitals by the Tallawah Mento Band, children of the Kendall Community Church Sunday School, and the church’s praise and worship choir, which performed a medley of Jamaican-inspired gospel selections.
Prayers were read by the Rev. Horace Ward of the Holy Family Episcopal Church; Pastor of the Genesis Growth and Development Center, Rev. Dr. Owen Facey, addressed the gathering; while the officiating pastor was Rev. Dr. Michael Curry of Kendall Community Church.
There was also a video presentation highlighting a number of projects in Jamaica being undertaken by the Kendall Community Church. Proceeds from the service will go towards the continuation of those programmes.