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Speech

“Peace Amid the Storms”

My Fellow Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora, greetings.

Today millions of people around the world are celebrating Christmas with families and friends. This is a time of cheer, goodwill, and peace. A time to reflect on the year that is closing and see just how much we achieved in our endeavours.

During WW1, on Christmas Eve 1914, Belgian, French, and German soldiers fighting in Europe put down their guns and bayonets and joined in celebrating Christmas, by singing carols, playing soccer and other games peacefully on Christmas Day. Unfortunately, the next day they resumed fighting. However, this gesture was symbolic of the human desire for peace, no matter how fleeting.

Sometimes the peace that we want in our hearts, our homes, and our nation eludes us. This is often punctuated by the underlying maladies of crime and violence, which have taken a toll on our lives and threaten our livelihood and sanity.

Despite these perils, we are grateful for our men and women on the frontlines. The security forces, health workers and volunteers. These are persons who, along with our leaders in Government and the Private Sector are helping to restore our faith in humanity. When you give with your hearts you show that you care, and we cannot thank you enough.

Again, I urge everyone to continue observing the established health protocols as you bring cheer to those who are struggling with grief, sickness, and hunger. I still believe in the goodness of Jamaicans, and I encourage everyone to continue believing in yourselves and our country.

I remember as a young school principal, each morning my students would assemble to start their day. At the end of this assembly, they would say in unison, and I quote “This is our school, let the rooms be full of contentment, let love abide here; love of one another, love of mankind, love of life itself and love of God. Let us remember that, as many hands build a house, so many hearts build a school”.

This is the spirit in which we build our nation: with our hearts, mind, love, and peace. During this Christmas holiday, let us pause and think on these things.

Lady Allen and my staff at King’s House join me in wishing you a happy, safe, and peaceful Holiday Season.

God bless you and bless ‘Jamaica land we love’.

 

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