Yesterday, August 1, was the 176th anniversary of the Emancipation of African slaves in the Caribbean. As Montego Bay’s Western Mirror reminds us, this important historical milestone comes ahead of Jamaica’s 52nd Independence celebrations, which have been organized around the theme: “This is Jamaica, My Jamaica.” The celebration will feature vigils, concerts, special recognition of outstanding persons, and other events. Celebrations began on July 31, and will conclude on August 6, 2014.
These celebrations come against the background of serious economic and social challenges, which continue to test the mettle of a great people. The celebrations are also being observed in a time, when the country continues to see a decline of morals within its borders, which has created an even more challenging Jamaica in which to reside.
However, the Emancipation and Independence period ought to be a time of reflection for Jamaicans, as the island looks ahead to creating a better country to live, work, raise families and do business. The nation’s leaders must also reflect on how much has been achieved, and how much more needs to be achieve in the quest to achieve the much-talked about Vision 2030.
In the same breath, Jamaicans far and wide are being encouraged to support the many celebratory activities. Western parishes kicked off the Emancipation and Independence celebrations on July 31, 2014, with the staging of a Vigil in each parish, to commemorate the 180th anniversary of the abolition of slavery.
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