Once again, Jamaicans at home and across the world will celebrate that signal moment in our history when we gained our independence from Great Britain. Of course, many persons who fought for and observed that glorious transition on August 6, 1962, are no longer with us. But the passing of time and generations has not diminished the significance of that date to all Jamaicans. Let us also recall that we will be celebrating the 180th Anniversary of Emancipation, marking the end of slavery.
As we mark these two milestones, we reflect solemnly and thankfully, on the road travelled, and the experiences that have shaped us as a people and a nation. We have established a record of political stability and democracy in the Western Hemisphere; we are highly respected in the international arena for our principled foreign policy stance on issues of regional, hemispheric and global importance; and we have continually demonstrated to the world that we are a great country capable of achieving the pinnacle of success through the hard work and achievements of our people in sports, entertainment, politics, business, the arts and academia.
While it is recognized that there is much work to be done to raise the living standards of all our people, and to achieve socio-economic development commensurate with targets articulated in the National Development Plan Vision 2030, we rise to the challenges ahead, looking forward assuredly with determination, hope, and pride to a brighter future, always with the triumphant colours of the “black, green, and gold” representing the aspirations of our Nation.
On behalf of the Government of Jamaica, I am pleased to acknowledge, with sincere gratitude, the contributions made by many organizations within the area of jurisdiction of the Consulate-General to the celebration of this defining instant in Jamaica’s history. Through your actions, we are reminded of the indomitable spirit of an independent Jamaica which serves to inspire all Jamaicans, whether at home or abroad. At the same time, I take the opportunity to acknowledge the many expressions of friendship extended to our people in the United States of America, where the cordial and respectful relationship between our nations and peoples continues to flourish.
I encourage all of you, to continue to pay homage to our nation’s forefathers and to the land of our heritage, not only during this “Emancipendence” season, but throughout the year. By so doing, we renew and reinforce our identity to the world as a sovereign people, proudly reflecting the sentiments expressed in the theme for this year’s celebration, “This is Jamaica, my Jamaica”.