Independence Address 2004

From
His Excellency Dr. J. O. Liverpool, D.A.H.
President of the Commonwealth of Dominica


It is with pleasure that I greet all fellow Dominicans on the occasion of our attainment of Twenty-six years of nationhood, and extend best wishes on behalf of my family for our continued development as a people with a united purpose.

This year’s theme, "Building For Love Of Country", has been carefully chosen, and each word speaks volumes to us in whatever our chosen field of endeavour. One of the most powerful messages of this theme is the one of striving and straining forward.

We not a people trapped in perpetual lethargy and passivity. We are not standing around bemoaning our fate and blaming the whole world for our realities. We definitely ought not to behave like sitting ducks to the pressures of globalization.

We are a proud people who are basically honest, resilient, simple and hard-working. We must build because we have faith in a better tomorrow and hope and trust that things can only get better in our beloved country.

We remember with gratitude those who have assisted us in our building efforts – friendly countries, the Diaspora, and many of our own sons and daughters. At this time we should remember our late Prime Minister Pierre Charles who, at this time last year, delivered a stirring speech which set us on a path to economic recovery. Let us remember also, the unfortunate ones among us, the mentally and physically challenged, the poor and the marginalized.

Over the last 26 years we have been in charge of our own development. We have made mistakes, but we are wiser and stronger for it, and we thank God for His tremendous benevolence.

Henceforth let us all join in building a nation of which we can all feel proud to be part. Let us put aside those things which divide us, and embrace a more positive approach as we strive to make Dominica a place where even the humblest and less fortunate of our brethren can benefit from our progress.

Let us celebrate all these elements of our coming of age, as we continue to build together, being guided by verse 2 of Psalm 107: "…unless the Lord builds the house those who build it, labour in vain."