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Jamaica celebrates National Heroes Day

Jamaica celebrated National Heroes Day on Monday with political leaders urging closer unity and the need to continue promoting the island’s proud heritage.

Great heritage to promote”

 “The preservation and continuity of our rich and deeply rooted history, heritage and culture spans generations, and our indomitable spirit is a part of the fabric that makes us who we are as a nation. We have a great heritage to promote and a great legacy to protect,” Prime Minister Andrew Holness said in his message to mark the occasion.

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He said young people in particular “need to know, embrace, and treasure our Jamaican history and culture, and face the challenges of the future with confidence, optimism and hope.”

National Heroes Day was observed under the theme “’A Great Heritage… A Great Legacy.” Holness said he wanted all nationals to internalize, appreciate and bring the theme to the forefront of their daily existence.

Opposition Leader’s message

In his message, Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips, said Jamaicans should recognize and celebrate the achievements of the national heroes.

“Collectively, their exploits and accomplishments have paved the way for Jamaica to move from plantation slavery to nationhood,” Phillips said, noting, “however, we need to bear in mind that with each passing year, fewer and fewer Jamaicans have any living memory of any of our heroes.

“It is therefore of the utmost importance that we utilize the media, the classroom and our creative artists to inform and educate our children of the great heritage and the great legacy that we have inherited,” he said.

Praise for security forces

Phillips praised members of the security forces who place their lives at risk daily; teachers, health care workers and other public sector workers who often give their personal time and resources to ensure that national social services are effectively managed.

“Respect is also due to the thousands of Jamaicans who give voluntary service through their citizens’ associations, neighborhood watches or youth clubs, on behalf of their fellow citizens,” he added.

The day was also marked by Jamaica’s Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen presenting over 100 Jamaicans with respective Jamaican honors, bestowed on them by the government this year in recognition for their service to the nation.

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