My fellow Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora:
I am honoured to address you on this significant day, as we celebrate the 61st anniversary of our nation’s Independence under the theme, “61: Proud and Strong”. This moment marks the triumph of our forebears’ vision, the strength of our people, and the enduring spirit of our great nation. For six decades and counting, we have steadfastly navigated our collective journey, resiliently shaping our destiny.
Over the years, we have shown that unity, when coupled with an unwavering commitment to our national ethos, can create ripples of change powerful enough to surmount the tallest mountains. In the areas of technology, infrastructure, healthcare, education, and social justice, we have made strides worthy of recognition.
Each sector has contributed invaluably to the development and growth of our nation. Your tireless efforts, the sacrifices you make, and your unwavering commitment, are the bedrock of our national success. So, we are here today, not merely because of our predecessors, but also due to your leadership and service. And for this I most sincerely thank all of you.
Even as we celebrate this historic milestone, we are aware of the uncertain times that lie ahead. Our world is constantly evolving, bringing forth complex challenges that test our fortitude and resilience. I will not downplay these challenges, but today I want to reassure you that our collective strength, creativity, and spirit are mightier than the challenges.
In the words of the esteemed writer, J.K. Rowling, “We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already.” Our nation is a testament to this truth. Our history is punctuated with instances where we turned adversity into opportunity, brought light into the dark, and inspired hope amidst despair.