Reflect on our heroes

Tomorrow is about so much more than just a day off work, relaxing and playing.

It’s a day to remember the people who came before us who helped make the Cayman Islands great.

It’s a day to pay tribute to our two national heroes, James Manoah Bodden and Sybil Ione McLaughlin.

We should look to them for inspiration and hope as well as recognise their contributions to the advancement of justice and equality in our society.

Monday is a day to visit the Wall of Honour and read the names of the 500 who contributed to Cayman’s progress.

People from all walks of life are included on the wall and their names were chosen by committees from each district in the Cayman Islands. That means that those honoured were chosen by their peers, family and friends for having made our Islands a better place.

They all have in common the qualities of fortitude and discipline upon which the Cayman Islands has succeeded, even though they came from all walks of life.

The wall forms just a part of Quincentennial Square. Another item tells of the milestones in our history – starting with the sighting of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman by Christopher Columbus in 1503.

We can remember the 400 seamen who gave their lives at sea at the Maritime Heritage Memorial and a statue pays tribute to Caymanian women, citing particularly those who took a stand on the question of the right to vote.

With so many examples of heroism surrounding us, we should all be inspired to keep alive the memories of our founders and emulate the way they lived their lives and served their communities and country.

Instead of taking Monday as just another day off from work, use it as an opportunity to learn something about the history of our country and her people.

Use it to instil in others, and especially children, a sense of nationhood and connection to our past so that we can face the future with a vision and confidence.

And there are still heroes among us because every day people make changes for the good of our society, especially those who volunteer their time for our community at large.

Even the smallest of contributions can be heroic and while they may not get your name on a wall of fame, they will be good for our community, country and each and every one of us.