Let's seek to understand our heritage

Let's seek to understand our heritage


Monday, October 19, 2020

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The following are lightly edited versions of the Heroes' Day messages from our nation's leaders:

Fifty-one years ago, Jamaicans began celebrating National Heroes' Day on the third Monday in October, when we pay tribute to our national heroes and award medals to deserving Jamaicans.

Each year, as we recall the contribution of past and present heroes, we are inspired by their selflessness and moved to emulate their courage. By their outstanding sacrifices, our heroes have made Jamaica a better place.

We are proud of our rich heritage, our history, culture, entertainment, fashion, religion, sports, fertile soil, and, most of all, our people.

Our diverse history has made us unique and we must strive to protect the legacy that has been bequeathed to us.

This year, 2020, has been quite unusual. COVID-19 hit our shores in March and changed our way of life. Much of what we once took for granted is no longer the same. Many of our large events at King's House and throughout Jamaica are now virtual, including today's national honours and awards ceremony.

I must seize this moment to pay tribute to all Jamaicans for your heroic attitude during this novel coronavirus pandemic.

We have shown how strong and resilient we can be, despite overwhelming challenges that face us daily.

Please join me in congratulating our 124 recipients of national honours and awards 2020 for their stellar contribution to nation-building, their heroism, bravery, and volunteerism. They are examples for others to follow.

We should never lose sight of the fact that what we are today will affect our future; therefore, we must always follow the principles that made our heroes exemplary and legendary. These principles, if practised, will allow us also to leave “footprints on the sands of time”.

There is more yet to be accomplished as we continue to build our legacy and our country. Let us truly seek to understand our national heritage and, in doing so, honour the words of our first National Hero Marcus Mosiah Garvey: “Lose not courage, lose not faith, go forward!”

God bless you and God bless, Jamaica, land we love.


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