As the country pauses today to pay respect to its founding fathers for their role in helping to dismantle the old institution of slavery to fashion independent Jamaica, president of the Jamaica Council of Churches, the Reverend Donald Reece, has taken issue with the way in which some of the national symbols are treated.
Reece, while making particular reference to the condition of the statues of National Heroes Norman Manley and Sir Alexander Bustamante at St William Grant Park in downtown Kingston, which was highlighted in The Gleaner last week, said they were covered with mildew either as a result of "scant regard, or plain forgetfulness".
Following a church service yesterday at the East Queen Street Baptist Church, where he accused the country's leaders of standing by while the national symbols remained in a state of neglect, Reece told The Gleaner the symbols must be maintained to inspire the next generation.
"If they don't look that good, how can you tell a little girl that is our national hero?'" he asked. "It's not one person's fault, but I am making the point that we need to keep up our national symbols. Our symbols are important because they remind us of the beauty that is within. These symbols or sites should remind us of who we are, and if the symbols or sites are not in good order, then we will not see the beauty within ourselves."