Read below President Mills address during this year’s Indece anniversary celebrations.
55th Independence Day Celebration Address By His Excellency President John Evans Atta Mills, President, Republic Of Ghana.
March 06, 2012.
His Excellency Vice President John Mahama,
The Right Honourable Speaker of Parliament,
His Lordship Mr. Justice Atuguba, Acting Chief Justice,
Ministers of State,
Honourable Members of Parliament,
The Diplomatic Corp,
Members of the Clergy,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Let me start off by asking that we solemnly observe a one minute silence in memory of 14 year old Goni Etorman, of the Ho Fiave Seventh Day Adventist Junior High School, who passed away while joining her school mates rehearse for this anniversary parade.
She will be remembered for her patriotic zeal to serve her nation. May her soul rest in perfect peace and my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and entire staff and students of Ho Fiave Seventh Day Adventist School.
Fellow countrymen and women, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, Ghana our beloved country is 55 today, and it is only appropriate that we thank God Almighty for bringing us this far.
55 years in the life of any nation is no mean achievement and we must be grateful to God for His Mercies and Grace.
Parade Commander, Colonel John Asabre, and the various contingents on parade, you have beautifully added colour to this 55th Anniversary Independence Day celebration and Mother Ghana salutes you for a job well done!
On a day like this, it will be remiss on our part if we forget to salute the heroes, both known and unknown, who fought for our independence.
We salute our First President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe, Private Odartey-Lamptey, Nii Koblah Bonne, and all the gallant men and women who fought to make it possible for us to celebrate this day.
Indeed, the candle that was lit 55 years ago by Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah continues to glow across the African Continent and worldwide and it is not surprising that at the last gathering of the African Union in Addis Ababa in January this year, a magnificent statue of our first President was unveiled at the forecourt of the new edifice that houses the AU.
“Edinkafo; ye ma mu mo!! mo!!”
I also salute, the, student; teacher; labourer; market woman; driver; and every Ghanaian past and present, who has contributed, and continues to contribute to the growth and development of this dear nation of ours. Today is time to celebrate the values that have sustained us over the past 55 years.
Today is a time to celebrate the very essence of our Ghanaian heritage and the things that have not only defined us as a people, but also inspired countless numbers across the world.
In the period that I have been privileged to serve as President of this great nation of ours, this is a day that energises me to stay committed to dedicating myself to the service of Ghana.
This day continues to be a constant reminder that with determination and hard work, there is nothing we cannot achieve as a people united in pursuit of a common purpose.
This day also continues to be a constant reminder that given the opportunity, the African is capable of managing his or her own affairs and rising to the very top.
This 55th Independence Day celebration will be meaningless if it is not linked to our collective resolve to join forces in ensuring that nothing is done to whittle away the, sweat, blood and toil of those who have made it possible for us to be where we are today.
Certainly, we have not reached our final destination as regards our march towards growth and development but we have made some significant gains and cannot afford to destroy what we have toiled to build.
As President and Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, I pledge to ensure that Ghana remains peaceful, before, during, and after this year’s election.
As a nation, we have no other option but to “sustain the peace” we are enjoying in order to broaden the frontiers of our “democracy and development”.
At no point in time should we take the peace we are enjoying for granted.
Our fallen heroes and Founding Fathers toiled to give us this dear nation and we dare not destroy what they have toiled to build.
Standing here every 6th March as President since 2009, and watching our youth partake actively in this celebration, there is no doubt in my mind that they are filled with dreams; big dreams of taking over from us and becoming responsible adults.
We must not destroy their dreams.
We must strive to ensure that we build a Better Ghana in which the dreams of our children can become a reality.
The best we can do, is to contribute our quota to building that Better Ghana so that the coming generations will remember us for adding to the legacy of the Founding Fathers, and not remember us for destroying their heritage.
To our sons and daughters; I say, love your country; work hard; don’t give up in the face of challenges; and your dreams will come alive.
Most importantly, do not forget that there is a Supreme Being; give Him reverence, and He will make your paths bright.
Congratulations to all Ghanaians home and abroad as we celebrate this day.
A special congratulation to our gallant men and women in uniform who are outside the country on peacekeeping duties but who are finding time to celebrate this day in very colourful ways.
We are proud of them and wish them a safe return home!
I am more than confident that, with the many blessings that God has bestowed on us, and with the right leadership that continues to remain committed to building a Better Ghana, 55 years from now, Mother Ghana will be standing on a much higher pedestal that will broaden the smile on the faces of the Founding Fathers wherever they may be.
Fellow Countrymen and women, brothers and sisters, Ghana is the only home we have; let us not do anything to destroy this beautiful land of our birth.
Let us modestly enjoy the day as much as we can but let us also resolve even more to “hold in high esteem our heritage won for us through the blood and toil of our Fathers, and pledge ourselves in all things to uphold and defend the good name of Ghana”.
May God continue to bless us and make our nation Ghana greater and stronger!
I thank you for your kind attention.