As Bahamians throughout this archipelago and around the world celebrate Thirty-Seven years of Independence of our fair Commonwealth, I reflect on our journey of nationhood with both patriotism and pride. I am proud that the instrument of Independence has enabled our people to make our own laws, shape our own destiny as a country, and define the Bahamian identity on the global stage. These were the principal goals of Independence and thirty-seven years later, I can say without fear of contradiction that the Bahamas is a qualified success in achieving the principal goals of Independence. I dare say that we as a people could not grow and develop to our maximum potential without it.
I reiterate that the care for human life and not its destruction is the singular objective of good participatory government; this is an important core value around which a free, modern, democratic state must be built. This fundamental tenet has broad based appeal as it is inclusive; it speaks directly to our humanity, and it gives our nation focus and direction.
As we continue the journey of sustained nation building through deepening our democracy, protecting our personal rights and freedoms, empowering our people, and pursuing social justice for all, we must be ever mindful of the fact that the instruments of public policies must necessarily and accurately reflect the collective will, desires, aspirations, and sensibilities of the Bahamian people; this phenomenon is the essence of participatory democracy.
We have accomplished much as a sovereign nation in thirty-seven short years, but there are many challenges to be boldly confronted and conquered; there is much land to be possessed. I have every confidence in the spiritual faith, resilience, and the indomitable spirit of the Bahamian people to overcome any and every obstacle placed before them with the help of Almighty God.
It is important to note that the history of The Bahamas is one of struggle, perseverance, and of overcoming incredible odds. Faced with slavery, colonization, and segregation, our collective spiritual faith, resilience, and indomitable spirit helped us to overcome these tragedies and emerge triumphantly as a strong and vibrant independent, free, modern, democratic state.
This generation of Bahamians is called upon to confidently accept the responsibility of our continued and sustained national development. This generation of Bahamians is called upon to jealously guard our national heritage, our national sovereignty, our national boundaries, and our national identity. This generation of Bahamians is called upon to safely deliver a stronger, more secure, more democratic, and a more prosperous Bahamas to the next generation of Bahamians. This is our charge and we cannot fail.
May God continue to bless The Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
HAPPY THIRTY SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY BAHAMAS