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myReport: What does Independence Day mean to you?

Published:Tuesday | August 4, 2015 | 12:00 AM

What does Independence Day mean to you in 2015? Is there reason to celebrate or is it a pointless holiday?

See responses via The Gleaner's myReport and social media platforms. For more on Independence, log on to www.jamaica-gleaner.com/myReport

Oschia Harris: Jamaica is like a bus going down a very steep hill so fast that only God alone can help us.

Marko Anthony: Ask Queen Elizabeth II if she still rules Jamaica.

Sheryl Brown: How can we be independent when the Jamaican people don't own any of Jamaica?

You Laylah: I have met some outstanding people in my life who stand strong and are independent. Jamaicans are a Jah blessed people. One love!

Kerry Ann Passley: Lisa Hanna is talking ‘bout, ‘don’t let anyone tell you not to celebrate’. What is there to celebrate? Corruption? Hardship? Poverty?

Elton Brown: It means the biggest mistake ever made in the history of mankind. We should have stayed with the Brits. Look at Cayman and Turks. We used to govern them.

Kira Clarke: It's a time to look back at our journey through the decades and the work left to be done.

Atina Williams: Free from ‘backra master’ and, thanks to Bob Marley, free from mental slavery.

Cissy Pringle: Independence? More like dependents. Crime, murders on top of murders, fear, prisoners in our homes. We should have left it to the British.

Marian Thomas:  Jamaica has to take the steps necessary to be independent.

Desreine Taylor: People forget that we are still a young country.

Shan Shand: What is there to celebrate? Rising crime rate, the abuse of underage children, water shortage, the poor getting poorer. The justice system sucks. We don't need to be independent. Let’s go back under England.

Shan Reid: Independence is nonexistent here, actually.

Sandy Blackwood-Mctavish: Tax, poverty, unemployment, no water, poor roads, high rate of crime, high food prices, high tuition fees, and the list goes on.

Sydy Penny: It’s a day to rest from all the struggles I've faced the previous months and the ones to come. So, thanks for the day off!
Suzette Morgan: It means nothing to me.

Munchie Foster: Not a thing.

Diana Hall-Henry: To be free from bondage and debt.

Abegail Hill: There is no cause for celebration. So many poor people can't find jobs, children not eating properly. Instead of using money to celebrate, use it to help the children who won't be able to go to school, and those persons whose homes burned down.

Adrian Ormsby: Independence Day means IMF.

Momo Naturalista Staciann: A day of rest. Independence from my work and school.

Heather Lewis: I don't see where we as a nation are independent because nothing in this island is ours to own. They’ve sold us out.

Desreine Taylor: Because of ignorance, most of us think that nationalism is based on a quid pro quo arrangement, that is, 'I will love my country IF my country does something for me'. So, if I have poverty, water lock-offs, drought, crime, low wages, etc., then obviously, as far as we understand, we are not supposed to be 'nationalistic'. In real nations, people understand that nationalism is automatic. War and crime and poverty rage and they are still nationalistic. What have WE done for Jamaica lately?

Delroy Johnson: So much to be thankful for. If I write a thousand lines I would not be able to explain it all. I know 137 people own more than two third of the land in good old Jamaica. You drive for miles and both sides of the road belong to one family. I’m thankful that my children don`t have to walk bare feet with the only thing to save them from falling in pot holes is some new stones that my mother and others would break to fill those holes. I’m thankful that my children and others don`t have to watch for the rangers to get a bucket of drinking water. I’m thankful for men like Bogle, Manley and others.

Karen Duncan:  We don't have our culture anymore. Our country is not prosperous. God bless Jamaica, land we love.

Toraino Beckford: Independence Day means that the Queen of England is still our head of state after 53 years of so-called Independence, and is still in our Constitution. The only thing relevant we lost was the use of the British pound, so our local currency could be devalued by the IMF and render us slaves to the first world countries who want an inexpensive tourist destination. That's what Independence means to me.

Danerey Rose: Independence means a life of poverty, hardship, and an inability to access tertiary education. 

Kayendae Bascoe-Harrison: When you leave school with a first degree and can’t get a job, you have nothing to celebrate.

Sherene Edwards: Growing up, Independence Day was an event to look forward to. We would count down the days to August 6. Fast forward to 2015, Independence has lost its true meaning. To me, Independence means to stay home and watch television. I don’t even know what Independence means to me anymore.

Ivorine Brown: Polytricks, murder, poverty and high cost of living. What is there to celebrate? Come on, politicians, get your acts together and help the people. Desperation causes some people to do stupid things.

Maria Smith: It might have meant something to Jamaicans 53 years ago. It means nothing to us today.

Patricia James: Nothing to celebrate, we are not independent. We are dependent and still suffering in this country.

Sally Johnson-Humphries: Just take a look at Cayman or Turks and Caicos. Worst thing ever. Nothing to celebrate

Videomark Linval Nathan: Independence is of no relevance to me or my family.

Glaze: Nothing to celebrate. When did we become independent?

Lecroft Carridice: History will always be history. Independence for Jamaica was a major blow to the economy and development of Jamaica. The only major growth that has taken place in Jamaica is the murder rate and corruption in politics.

Trudi Smith: For me, Independence means a time of thanksgiving for the liberties I now enjoy. For me, it means that although the struggles continue, being a free minded individual I am free to make choices. This is the time we should put our hands and hearts together to ensure that we build a better Jamaica for a brighter tomorrow.

Len Simmonds: Maybe if you define Independence as suffering and borrowing, yes we can celebrate. But if you define independence as depending on your self, Jamaica is nowhere  near to what an independent island is supposed to be.

Cherise Henry: Emancipation I can understand. Independence is not something to celebrate because we are far from independent.

Kera Prince: Looking at all the comments before mine, they're sad and all true to a certain extent. This is what Lisa Hanna is urging us to celebrate? Why? She must be so out of touch with our reality. All I can say is, at this point in Jamaica I'm neither proud nor happy about our condition and I don't want to celebrate!

Kelly McIntosh: August 6 in the land of my birth, Jamaica, marks 53 years of Independence from Great Britain. Fifty three years ago we sang our own national anthem and raised our own flag. 'Jamaica 53: Proud and Free' is the theme this year. Really? Who says?

There are two Jamaicas: One where the schools are clean and quiet and teachers speak respectfully to students. And there is one where children crowd into noisy, hot classrooms and are expected to learn.

There’s one Jamaica where you get justice if you have the money to pay for it. There’s another Jamaica where you are tossed roughly from side to side inside the bowels of the justice system and hope for the best. You often don’t get it.

There’s a Jamaica that’s filled with boat rides to Lime Cay and outings to the movies, and another Jamaica where you hang out on the corner to grab a little cool air. There’s one Jamaica that moves about in high-off-the-ground air-conditioned vehicles and another Jamaica that moves around in tightly packed public buses, fighting to keep sane on your way to work and school, and where you long to get home in the evening just to do it all over again in the morning.

There’s the Jamaica where you dare not get ill on a Saturday evening or public holiday. There’s one Jamaica where we lock up tightly in gated communities or behind high walls, where security codes are a way of life and private security companies are on speed dial. Then there’s the other Jamaica where four-year-olds instinctively roll under the bed at the sound of a gun-shot -- and they know the difference between gun shots and 'clappers'.

I cannot ignore the two Jamaicas. And it is the reality of these two Jamaicas that gives me pause on our 53rd anniversary.

Brianna Gordon: My plan for August 6 is to go to the Grand Gala with friends and enjoy a fantastic day with Jamaican friends and family, as we rock to the music. It's always a great experience; never a dull moment at the National Stadium when it's time for us Jamaicans to celebrate our day. If God spares my life I surely will not miss it this year. To miss is to 'dis'! Love you, Jamaica!

myReport Assignment: What's happening in your area that the authorities should know? Post it at The Gleaner's myReport and it could appear online and in The Gleaner. It's easy, just log on to www.jamaica-gleaner.com/myReport, sign up and send today.