Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller
"Emancipation should not be seen merely as a trophy that we take out every year to polish, admire and remind us of the vision and bravery of our ancestors.
"It is not a time to pat ourselves on the back and then return to complacency and a sense of powerlessness to tackle the current challenges.
"The celebration of emancipation would be empty if we are not inspired to recapture that spirit of determination to be free of limitations, which was in Sam Sharpe's belly as he led the emancipation rebellion.
Emancipation Day would be just another holiday unless we recognise it as an important step in an on-going journey to higher levels of freedom.
"Each new stage in the journey begins with a vision - a vision of forward movement and a deep hunger for freedom from whatever it is that holds back our progress and development.
"Emancipation Day 2006 calls us to reject the old, toxic thinking and embrace new forward-looking concepts that will put our nation firmly on the path of transformation.
"As we entertain the vision of a Jamaica that works for every one of its citizens, we need to emancipate ourselves from the old idea that any individual human being, or group, is inferior to another; the old idea that women are lesser beings; the old idea that any one of us, whether called 'leader' or plain citizen, can escape our share of responsibility for the results we achieve as a country.
"Today, we are being called upon to emancipate ourselves form the mental, spiritual and emotional shackles that allow this nation to tolerate the abuse of our children; violence as a way of life; corruption wherever it is found; and the erosion of our fine community traditions that once served us well."