JIS News

The commemoration of our National Heritage Week is a time for us to praise the life and work of each of our National Heroes. It is a time to appreciate the precious legacy that they have left behind; a time to reflect on whether we as a people and nation have preserved, protected and built on this legacy.
Some of our heroes were from humble beginnings, leading simple lives; but all had extraordinary dreams in their hearts and a burning resolve to lift the lives of their fellowmen. I urge our people to follow the examples set by these great men and woman in our history – have a dream, believe in that dream and stand up for that dream!
Jamaica is our country to protect. We as a people must demand that no one destroys the work invested by our fore- bearers – the selfless sacrifices made and the lives lost in their struggles for peace and prosperity for all. Let us not excuse our lethargy and complacency by believing that we do not have the wherewithal to make a difference. Let a strong will and desire for a better life for our families and country be the impetus that drives us to achieving this dream. Let us demand that our leaders implement the necessary social and economic programmes and policies that will promote growth and development for not just the privileged few, but for all!
At this juncture in our nation’s life, we must pause and take a fulsome view of whether we have brought honour to and upheld the values and beliefs of our Heroes. Has our country made substantial progress since achieving the independence that Norman Manley so ably negotiated for our country? Have the pay and working conditions of our country’s poor been satisfactorily improved, as was the driving passion of Alexander Bustamante? Does truth and justice prevail for all, regardless of race, colour or creed as was so valiantly fought for by Paul Bogle, George William Gordon, Sam Sharpe, Nanny of the Maroons and Marcus Garvey?
All our heroes had a deep and abiding love for their country and people, that moved them to face the harshest of adversities without counting the costs. As we celebrate this
National Heritage Week, let us be resolute in ensuring that their good works were not in vain. I encourage us to unite to build on the strong foundation laid by our Heroes; to protect and keep sacred, our country Jamaica – Land We Love!