As 2010 draws to a close and 2011 dawns, we approach our fiftieth year as a nation; let us use this opportunity to reflect on the milestones we have passed along the way, learning from both the good and the bad and taking forward only the fruit of those lessons that can make us succeed as a nation.
Fifty years of uninterrupted, independent nationhood is something worth celebrating and we ought to do it in true 'trini' style, but let us temper our celebration with the knowledge that there is till much work to do if we are to live up to the dream that is Trinidad & Tobago.
It is said that when Christopher Columbus touched our shores he was convinced he had found Biblical Eden, so lush and hospitable our land appeared; since Columbus it has been an adventurous journey, difficult at times but protected and safe, creating and reinforcing the idea that even if it were not Eden, this is still a very blessed land.
Let us not take that blessing for granted, rather let us use it to guide us through whatever storms may come to safe harbors, as we together endeavor to create one nation, one people under one flag.
Let us resolve that our nation be the undisputed home of a patriotic people set aglow with a vision of one family of citizens, secure in our love of Country First, where the words of our anthem rings true and resonates in all our peoples as every creed and race find their equal place right here.
As we approach our fiftieth year I would like to offer the adoption of an old word anew in the national lexicon - the word excellence.
Let us adopt it as one of our nations watchwords - Discipline, Tolerance, Production and Excellence, so that we will all know what to give and what to expect in an from everything we are a part of.
When we are one 'Country First' patriotic people driven to excellence, the promise of our collective tomorrows will set all our tomorrows alight, and we together with our children's children will live to see the realization of the dream, the promise of Eden, our home, Trinidad & Tobago.
That is something to celebrate....