|« Who is a Hero?||National Heroes Day »|
Today, National Heroes Day, Monday, October 19, 2009, 105 outstanding Jamaicans were recognized at the National Honours and Awards Ceremony, on the lawns of King's House in Kingston.
Professor Mervyn Eustace Morris, topped the list of recipients receiving the Order of Merit (OM) for distinguished contribution to the field of West Indian Literature.
Eight (8) persons received the Order of Jamaica (OJ), for their outstanding contribution to Education, Health, Athletics, Public Service, and Human Rights Advocacy.
Eighteen (18) persons received the Order of Distinction in the Commander Class (CD). Thirty one (31) persons received the Order of Distinction in the Officer Class (OD). Seven (7) persons received the Badge of Honour for Gallantry (BHG).
Sixteen (16) other Jamaicans received the Badge of Honour for Meritorious Service, for their contribution to Education and Public Service.
Twenty four (24) persons received the Badge of Honour for Long and Faithful Service. There was also one (1) posthumous Badge of Honour awardee for Long and Faithful Service, Miss Daisy Albertine Forde for Community Service.
Amongst the eight recipients of the Order of Jamaica (OJ) is our beloved Usain Bolt, sorry, The Honourable Usain Bolt, OJ, who once again created history by becoming the youngest Jamaican ever to receive this honour. Bolt has also been given the right to be called "ambassador" with full diplomatic privileges, including a diplomatic passport. This was announced in parliament by the Prime Minister, Bruce Golding. Highway 2000, Jamaica's high-speed expressway, will also be renamed the ‘Usain Bolt Highway’.
The Jamaican honours system has developed since the National Honours and Awards Act by the Parliament of Jamaica in 1969 (Act No. 21 of 1969). The Jamaican Honours System consist of the following orders from highest to lowest in rank: The Order of National Hero, The Order of the Nation, The Order of Excellence, The Order of Merit , The Order of Jamaica and The Order of Distinction. Membership of each order is conferred by the Governor-General upon the advice of the Prime Minister of Jamaica. The Order of Jamaica entitles members and honorary members to wear the Insignia of the Order as a decoration, be addressed as 'honourable' and use the post nominal letters 'OJ' (members) or 'OJ (Hon)' for honorary members. Each year on October 06 the recipients of honours are gazetted and on the third Monday of October, National Heroes Day the badges are awarded.
National Heroes Day is an occassions that recogizes excellence. Along with celebrating our National heroes, It’s a time set aside for us to honour our fellow Jamaicans who have served us by excelling in there respective fields. These persons act as role models and hopefully will help to steer our nation in a prosperous direction. So please Jamaica, while we enjoy the many parties and events lets not loose sight of the true intent of the day.