My fellow Jamaicans, the historic milestone of political independence was won 61 years ago today. Each year on the 6th August we reflect upon the struggles and sacrifices of our forefathers who transformed our nation from colonialism to a state of independence.
Their unwavering belief in the powerful potential of our people, and the tremendous possibilities of controlling our own collective destiny, led our nation into independence, and their inspiration continues to burn bright in our hearts today.
Looking back at the past 61 years, we can take immense pride in the strides we have made as a nation. From the achievements in arts and the cultural expressions that have shaped our national identity, to the advancements in education, healthcare, and infrastructure that have improved the lives of countless Jamaicans, we have truly come a far way.
Having said that, we still have much further to go, as we face serious challenges that we must overcome for Jamaica to achieve the greatness which is our destiny.
Violent crime continues to plague our communities, causing pain and suffering to many Jamaicans. We lose valuable human resources every day that lives are taken by violence.