On this auspicious and historic occasion of the 69th Independence Day of our great nation, it is my privilege to extend my heartfelt greetings to the people of Mizoram and especially to those who have gathered here this morning to celebrate this glorious day.
We remember with pride and honor, the supreme sacrifices made by our founding fathers Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and all the others who gave their all for our nation to emerge from the shadows of oppression and injustice into a sovereign nation. Today let us re-dedicate ourselves to fulfill the dreams and aspirations of the founders of this mighty nation who shed their blood and tears in their struggle for our freedom.
On this auspicious day, let me take the opportunity to highlight some of the achievements of our government during the past one year.
1. The maintenance of Law and Order and security of the people has always been given paramount importance and through the concerted efforts of the Law enforcing agencies, supporting non-government organisations, Churches, Media and the general public we have been able to maintain Mizoram as one of the most peaceful States in the country. However, this atmosphere of peace and tranquility was disrupted recently on 28.3.2015 when the convoy of the Committee on Government Assurances members were ambushed by HPC ‘D’ insurgents at the outskirt of Zokhawthiang/Kani village where 3(three) Mizoram Police personnel were killed and 5(five) others were injured. Counter operation was launched by the Mizoram Police and in the ensuing operation one S/S Sgt. Malsawmkima, a Police Constable deserter was killed in an exchange of fire in the Mizoram - Manipur border on 8.5.2015. We condemn that dastardly attack and reassure the people that the government will leave no stone unturned to maintain peace and tranquility in the State. Under Modernisation of Police Forces, the Mizoram Police has been strengthened by providing them with modern equipments and weaponry and the Aizawl City Surveillance Project (Phase-I) was inaugurated on 25.5.2015 with the installation of CCTVs in important locations within the city.
2. The flagship programme, New Land Use Policy (NLUP) has made impressive progress and is well on the tract to realise the set goals of achieving development in Mizoram. Under the programme 90,139 beneficiaries have so far been assisted and assistance for another 44,861 beneficiaries will be started soon.
NLUP Revitalization Programme has been formulated through which the government will ensure deliverance of better services to the beneficiaries. Various problems and deficiencies in the project planning and implementation during the on-going 5 year period have been identified and remedial measures have been suggested and taken.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was recently signed with the UN Resident Co-ordinator and UN Agencies namely, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and International Labour Organisation (ILO). With the signing of the MoU with the UN Agencies, several countries have shown interest in joining hands with the government of Mizoram for development of forests, protection and maintenance of eco-system, support for livelihood activities and water and land management.
An agreement for Technical Co-operation has been signed between FAO, Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India and Govt. of Mizoram and a sanction order of US $ 496,000 (Rs 3.15 crores) has been received. This is the first direct funding from UNO (FAO). MoU between Govt. of Mizoram and Tata Trust has also been signed wherein the latter will contribute Rs 18.00 crores for promoting livelihood activities to supplement NLUP programme. An additional Rs 2.30 crore has already been set aside by Tata Trust for Supportive Dairy Intervention Programme (SDIP) in Mizoram.
Mid-term review of 3rd party Monitoring Agency, NABCONS on NLUP has made positive comments indicating trends towards increased sustainable livelihood opportunities and corresponding reduced Jhum practices.
3. Road connectivity has been one of the main agendas of the government. During 2014-2015, Public Works Department has completed construction of Tlabung - Kawrpuichhuah road (16.42 km) with an estimated amount of Rs 14.16 crores under NEC scheme, 2-laning of NH 54 on Kawnpui - Buichali road (29.789 km) with an estimated amount of Rs 171.98 crores under SARDP-NE and construction of Chuhvel - Sithiang road (11.00 km) with an estimated amount of 2.23 crores under NLCPR scheme. Another 170 nos. of roads with a total length of 3713.285 km amounting to Rs 3,030.86 crores are under construction. Bridge over R.Tuivawl on Saitual - Saichal - NE Bualpui road (Rs 3.00 crores under NEC scheme), Bridge over R.Tuikum on Chhingchhip - Hmuntha road (Rs 12.99 crores under NLCPR scheme) and Bridge over R.Tuikual on Chhingchhip - Thentlang road (Rs 2.48 crores under NLCPR scheme) have also been completed during 2014 - 2015. 4 nos. of Bridges amounting to Rs 43.64 crores are under construction.
Under Mizoram State Roads - II Regional Transport Connectivity Project (MSR II - RTCP) Improvement and Upgradation of Chhumkhum - Chawngte road (Rs 270.27 crores), Improvement and Upgradation of Champhai - Zokhawthar road (Rs 222.38 crores) and Improvement and Upgradation of Tlabung - Kawrpuichhuah road (Rs 180.17 crores) are also being taken up. Improvement and Upgradation of Serchhip - Thenzawl - Buarpui road (Rs 259.20 crores) under Asian Development Bank (ADB) assistance and construction of 99.83 km road under Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project (KMMTTP) at an estimated cost of Rs 677.20 crores is also under progress. Upgradation of Lengpui Airport at an estimated cost of Rs 24.81 crores under NLCPR is also in progress. Construction of Mizoram House at New Town Kolkata at an estimated cost of Rs 21.43 crores under Special Plan Assistance has been completed and was inaugurated on 15th May,2015.
4. Mizoram has a vast potential for generating hydro electricity and we are exploring all possible options to increase our power generation. The Govt. of Mizoram has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) for execution of Tuivai Hydro Electric Project (210MW) and construction work will be started shortly. Construction of Tuirial Hydro Electric Project (60MW) is in full swing and is expected to be commissioned in October, 2016. Construction of Tlawva Small Hydel Project (5MW) and Kawlbem Small Hydel Project (3.5MW) are also in progress and these projects are expected to be completed within 2017. Tuiching and Tuiriza Small Hydel Projects with a capacity of 100KW each are also expected to be completed within 2016. The Govt. of Mizoram has decided to take up Tuirini Hydro Electric Project (25MW) under the State Sector and is now preparing to pose the project for funding to New Development Bank, Shanghai and other funding Agencies. The State Government has recently completed process for installation of Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) Power Plants/Solar lighting at 47 places in interior and far-flung areas, and is also taking up installation of 4000 nos. of Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) Street Lighting Systems in 6 Districts which will cover 508 villages. The Government is also assessing ways and means of installing 2MW floating Solar Power Plant on the reservoir of Serlui B Project. 3 (three) Wind Solar Hybrid Power Plants at Pukpui (5x2kw), Cheural (8kw) and Tuipang ‘V’ (5kw) are also to be installed shortly.
With an objective to provide more reliable power supply and reduction of AT&C losses, 4 new sub-stations and 2 power distribution lines have been constructed/upgraded during 2014 - 2015. Under Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) works have been completed for providing electricity to 140 un-electrified villages and installation of additional distribution transformers and LT lines extension works have been completed in 494 villages and 25,123 BPL households have been given free connection
To strengthen the rural energy supply system, Ministry of Power, Govt. of India has sanctioned Rs 73.37 crores under Rural Electricity Distribution Backbone (REDB) for construction and augmentation of 33 kv sub-stations at various locations within the State. Under NER Power System Improvement Project (NERPSIP) Ministry of Power, Govt. of India has also allotted Rs 298.90 crores for improvement of transmission network in Mizoram for which MoU has been signed with PGCIL.
5. Provision of potable drinking water is among the key priorities of the government. The Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) has provided safe drinking water to 51 rural habitations against the targetted 52 habitations in 2014 - 2015 under National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) thereby covering all the 734 rural habitations in the State. Under Special Plan Assistance (SPA) the Department has taken up 8 (eight) projects with an outlay of Rs 1,666.00 lakhs at various places in Mizoram. The Department has also taken up 10 (Ten) water supply schemes under Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) with an outlay of Rs 10,778.40 lakhs. Under 10% Lumpsum Grant 4 (four) towns namely Saiha, Tlabung, Khawzawl and Biate are being covered with improved water supply scheme for a total cost of Rs 6,372.87 lakhs. The Department has also taken up 7 (seven) Water Supply Projects under North Eastern Council (NEC) funding with a total cost of Rs 3,566.61 lakhs.
To accelerate the efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage, Swachh Bharat Mission was launched in the State along with the nation on 2nd October, 2014 which aims to achieve Swachh Bharat (Clean India) by 2019. Solid and Liquid Waste Management Project have been initiated in 72 villages and it is expected that out of the 8 districts, 5 districts will be converted to Open Defecation Free (ODF) districts during the current year and necessary plans are in place to achieve a total Open Defecation Free State.
6. Education is one of the important parameters of growth and the government is committed towards development of human resources. We have made considerable progress in the field of public examinations such as HSLC and HSSLC during 2015 as compared to previous years by achieving 68.92% in HSLC examination and a commendable progress in HSSLC examinations. The Department of School Education has conducted State Learning Achievement Survey (SLAS) for the fist time during 2014-2015 with a focus on Class - III in elementary schools and achieved 79.3% in language and 72% in Mathematics. KG-I and KG-II have been introduced from the Academic Session 2015-2016 in 66 selected Primary Schools as a pilot project. New textbooks have been introduced in Class I - IV from the current Academic Session. Common textbooks will be used for the first time across the State in English Medium and Mizo Medium Schools. Services of 1305 Hindi teachers in Middle and High Schools have been extended for which Rs 25.79 crores has been received from the Govt. of India for their remuneration. 30(Thirty) posts of Lecturers for Higher Secondary Schools have been created and filled. As many as 2035 Teachers serving in various schools (including Private Schools) have been deputed for various courses of training to clear the backlog of in-service untrained teachers. Special Literacy drive is being conducted across the State with special attention focused on Lawngtlai, Mamit and Lunglei districts to increase the literacy rates so that Mizoram can aim to become the most literate State in the country. Various programmes under Rashtrya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) have been carried out successfully and effectively.
For setting up of new Polytechnics at Champhai, Kolasib, Lawngtlai, Mamit, Saiha and Serchhip construction of buildings at Champhai and Kolasib have been completed and the rest are in progress. Funds have been allocated under Special Plan Assistance for construction of Auditorium Annexe Building at Lunglei Govt. College and construction of main building Block-I for Govt. Zirtiri Residential Science College at Durtlang.
7. Providing affordable healthcare and improving healthcare facilities are given top priority by the government. Efforts are being made for the establishment of Mizoram Institute of Medical Education & Research (MIMER) by upgrading the existing infrastructure of the State Referral Hospital, Falkawn at an estimated cost of Rs 189.00 crores and it is expected that the first batch of 100 students can be admitted during the academic session 2016-2017. The government has also initiated steps for establishment of a 100 bedded Cancer Hospital at the existing Mizoram State Cancer Institute, Zemabawk at an estimated cost of Rs 45.00 crores for which Detailed Project Report has been submitted to the Central Government. Upgradation of District Hospital, Champhai at an estimated cost of Rs 26.43 crores has been completed. Construction of 200 bedded Hostel for Mizoram College of Nursing at Falkawn is also in progress. Ministry of DoNER has conveyed sanction of an amount of Rs 1592.52 lakhs for upgradation of District Hospital, Saiha and works will commence shortly. Ministry of DoNER has also conveyed Administrative Approval for an amount of Rs 1191.51 lakhs for construction of a 50 bedded Hospital at Lawngtlai. Besides this, proposal for upgradation of JNM (District Hospital), Serchhip and construction of Housing Complex at Civil Hospital, Lunglei has been submitted to the Ministry of DoNER. Establishment of a 50 bedded AYUSH Hospital at Thenzawl is in progress and 85% of the works has been completed.
8. For provision of housing and other basic amenities to families below poverty line and economically weaker sections of the society, 3(three) housing projects in Aizawl city namely, Chite Lawipu Combine EWS Housing Project (Rs 3,403.43 lakhs), Rangvamual EWS Housing Project (Rs 3,075.14 lakhs) and Durtlang EWS Housing Project (Rs 2,623.73 lakhs) are being implemented under Basic Services to Urban Poor (BSUP) under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). These projects are nearing completion and will together provide housing to 1,096 poor families. Various Urban Infrastructure Development Projects and Slum Area Development Projects are being implemented under 10% Lumpsum Grant Provision for North East India, both under the Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Housing & Urban Proverty Alleviation, Govt. of India. Aizawl city and various other towns are being covered under this provision and efforts are on to cover all the 23 notified towns.
Two schemes under Special Plan Assistance viz, i) Construction of Aizawl Convention Center (Rs 2500.00 lakhs) and ii) Construction of Armed Veng Community Centre (Rs 600.00 lakhs) have been approved and works will be started shortly. Initial works are being done for implementation of 3(three) ambitious new schemes recently launched by the Prime Minister namely, i) Smart City Mission ii) Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and iii) Housing for All (Urban).
9. Rural Development and Rural Poverty Alleviation is another priority of the government. Under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) 1,52,519 no. of households have been provided wage employment during 2014-2015 and person days generated during the year is 6,156 lakhs. The Central Government released Rs 9,941.23 lakhs during the year 2014-2015 and employment was provided for 26 days. Under Indira Awaaz Yojana (IAY) 626 housing units were constructed during 2014-2015. To redress regional imbalances in development, Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF) is being implemented in Lawngtlai and Saiha Districts and Rs 2,439.00 lakhs have been allocated for the year 2014-2015. Mizoram State Rural Livelihood Mission (MzSRLM) is being implemented in Serchhip and Kolasib Districts. 467 Self Help Groups (SHG) have been formed and 411 SHG have availed Revolving Fund @ Rs 10,000/- per SHG. Under Border Area Development Programme (BADP) Rs 3,515.55 lakhs has been released for 511 nos. of developmental works in border areas.
10. Protection of the natural wealth, flora and fauna and increasing the forest cover of the State remains one of the key priorities of the government. Under National Afforestation Programme (NAP), plantations have been raised in over 57,000 Ha through Village Forest Development Committees since the inception year. During 2014-2015 plantation of 6,136 Ha has been raised. Under Green Mizoram Programme 2.8 lakhs saplings were planted/distributed for planting. So far 36 lakh saplings have been planted/distributed for planting under this programme since its inception in 1999. Under National Bamboo Mission (NBM) about 60,000 Ha have so far been taken up for Bamboo plantation. Under the flagship programme NLUP, 882 nos. of beneficiaries were given financial assistance amounting to Rs 120.88 lakhs for raising Bamboo Plantations over an area of 1,364 Ha of land during 2014-2015.
Recently, the Department of Environment & Forests has issued preliminary notification for entension of existing Thorangtlang Wildlife Sanctuary in Lunglei District which will cover 198 sq. km for wildlife corridor between Dampa Tiger Reserve and Thorangtlang Wildlife Sanctuary. Final notification of Pualrang Wildlife Sanctuary with an area of 50 sq. km within Kolasib District has been recently issued. For preserving valuable biodiversity in the State, 221 nos. of Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) have been constituted and 3 nos. of People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBRs) have been finalised.
11. Development of sports infrastructure is another priority of the government. A new Table Tennis Hall at Kawltheihuan, Aizawl has been inaugurated and laying of synthetic football turf at Chhangphut Playground, Champhai has been completed. Construction of Boxing Hall at Ramhlun Sports Complex, Aizawl, Zotlang Sports Centre, Aizawl and Multipurpose Indoor Hall at Mualpui, Aizawl have been completed. A number of works for numerous other projects are also on going in different parts of the state. During 2014-2015 sportspersons from Mizoram have won 3 (three) Bronze Medals in Taekwando and Muaythai in the International Level and 50 Gold, 55 Silver and 76 Bronze Medals at the National Level. Mizoram Football Team won the Gold in the 35th National Games held in Kerala this year. In the National School Games Hockey under-17 and sub-junior categories Mizoram sportspersons won the Champions Trophy. A state of the art’ Physiotheraphy and Rehabilitation Center is also under process for sportspersons. Under NCC Special Entry Scheme, two cadets have joined the Indian Navy as Short Service Commissioned Officers.
12. To enhance agricultural crop production and productivity, high yielding and hybrid Rice seeds, hybrid Maize seed and improved Pulse seeds have been distributed to farmers. Under RKVY, SMAM and NFSM, various agricultural machineries and equipments like Power Tillers, Tractor mounted Rotavator, Water pumpsets etc. were given to farmers at subsidized rates. During 2014-2015 WRC area increased by 1,246 ha. and rice production increased by 1,685 metric tonnes taking the total production to 60,679 metric tonnes. The one and only Oil Palm Mill in the North Eastern India has been commissioned at Bukvannei in Kolasib District with a capacity of 5 metric tonnes per hour. Under the 2nd phase of NLUP, a total of Rs 3,745.65 lakhs was released to 7,577 nos. of beneficiaries in 4 trades.
13. Under Horticulture Department - 24,097 families have so far been covered under NLUP with various Horticulture Trades with a total fund assistance of Rs 295.568 crores. Besides various activities under NLUP, the Department has taken up expansion of cultivation area of fruit crops, vegetable, spices and flowers with funds received from Horticulture Mission for North East and Himalayan States (HMNEH). To increase productivity, Integrated Nutrient Management and Integrated Pest Management have been adopted in 4,740 ha of cropped area. A centre of Excellence at Lungleizau in Serchhip District has been established for catering to the needs of farmers in the district.
14. Based on the Development Study entitled “Study on Development and Management of Land and Water Resources for sustainable Agriculture in Mizoram”, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has submitted a Master Plan for 27 projects which aims at achieving more than 50% self sufficiency of food production in Mizoram by the year 2035. Government of Mizoram has adopted this Master Plan as the “Road Map for Development of Agriculture and Irrigation Sector”. For successful implementation of the Master Plan, a Technical Cooperation Project proposal entitled ‘Capacity Development for Effective Irrigation and Agriculture Planning and Implementation for Minor Irrigation Scheme’ has been approved by Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India and approval of the Government of Japan is awaited. This project will concentrate on ‘Technology Transfer’ from experts in Japan to officials of the Govt. of Mizoram and will be a 100% grant from the Govt. of Japan.
15. Under AH&Vety Department, 37,047 families have been assisted in livestock rearing under the flagship programme of NLUP. An Indigenous Milk Product Plant with a capacity of 5000 ltrs per day has been commissioned at MULCO Complex, Zuangtui which will produce milk products like Flavoured Milk, Paneer, Dahi, Lassi, etc.
Under Sericulture Department, 2195 beneficiaries for silk rearing have so far been assisted under NLUP. Broom production from NLUP beneficiaries under Soil & Water Conservation Department during 2014-2015 reached 2,958 metric tonnes generating revenue of Rs 1,479.00 lakhs, 1,293.5 ha of new water area (WSA) were created under intensive fish culture which will provide livelihood to 2,578 jhumming families.
16. The Land Customs Station at Zokhawthar was inaugurated by Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon’ble Union Minister of State (Independent charge), Ministry of Commerce & Industry on 25.3.2015 and this will enhance border trade with Myanmar. Development of Integrated Check Post at Kawrpuichhuah is pursued with utmost vigor and this will facilitate the much awaited border trade with Bangladesh.
17. Major initiatives have been taken up by Social Welfare Department by providing welfare programmes and services to the differently abled persons, social security for the aged, infirm, poor and destitute widows, welfare and development of women and children and socio-economic rehabilitation programme for economically and socially handicapped persons. It has also taken steps to combat drugs abuse, alchoholism, trafficking of women and children, juvenile delinquency. The department is also implementing supplementary Nutrition Programme to eradicate protein calorie and micro-nutrient deficiency prevalence in the state.
Eklavya Model Residential School (EMRS) constructed at a cost of Rs 12.00 crores with funds from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Govt. of India was recently opened at Serchhip. The Ministry has also sanctioned funds for opening of another 3(three) EMRS at Saiha, Lawngtlai and Chawngte and construction will be started soon. Scheduled Tribe Girls Hostels are also under construction at Pukpui (Lunglei), Kolasib Govt. College, KVM High School, Aizawl, Thenzawl High School, Lungleng, Mualpui and Durtlang. Sanctions for ST Girls Hostel at Saiha, Lunglei and Mamit has also been received.
18. The Department of Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs has managed equitable distribution of food grains to the general public, thereby, ensuring food security within the State. End-to-end computerisation of Targetted Public Distribution System (TDPs) is being undertaken and all Ration Cards have been digitized. To ensure safe, secure and hygienic storage of foodstuffs the department has been making constant efforts to increase the storage capacity of foodstuffs and is now at the final stage of constructing 17 new Godowns at a cost of Rs 9.60 crores. A loan of Rs 32.68 crores for construction of 27 new godowns and other related infrastructures has been secured from NABARD. This will increase the storage capacity of foodstuffs in the State by about 8000 metric tonnes.
19. More than 25 units have been allotted Industrial Plots in Zuangtui Industrial Area and 10 units in the Export Promotion Industrial Part at Lengte. Mizoram Inspat Industry and Chinzah Enterprise at Lengte have started commercial production and 3 food processing units are expected to commence commercial production very soon. Foundation stone for establishment of Mizoram Handloom Export Facilitation Hub has been laid at Thenzawl. Weavers’ Service Center for Mizoram was inaugurated recently on 3.7.2015 by Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Union Minster of State for Textiles (Independent charge) and permanent site for the WSC has been identified at the Handloom Complex at Luangmual.
20. To replace the MLTP Act, 1995, the Mizoram Legislative Assembly has passed the Mizoram Liquor (Control & Prohibition) Act, 2014 on 10th July, 2014 and the Act has come into force w.e.f. 15th January, 2015. Revenue amounting to Rs 4,58,93,981.00 was collected during the financial year 2014-2015 against the target of Rs 347 lakhs.
21. The Local Administration Department is making arrangements for transfer of General Basic Grant amounting to Rs 1,284.00 lakhs to Village Councils from the Grant received from XIII Finance Commission for creation of Villages assets.
22. The government is fully committed to root out corruption in all its forms at all levels and this has been one of the main agenda to achieve good governance for the people of Mizoram. The Lokayukta Bill, 2014 has been passed in the Mizoram Legislative Assembly in line with the Central Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, after holding a number of consultations with civil society, NGOs, intellectuals and various stakeholders. The Mizoram Lokayukta Rules have also been finalised and Selection Committee has been constituted. The Mizoram Compulsory Registration of Marriages (Amendment) Bill, 2015 has been passed by the Mizoram Legislative Assembly which provides for cancellation of Marriage Certificate and the registration thereof or divorce of the couples. The Mizo Marriage, Divorce and Inheritance of Property Bill, 2014 has also been passed in line with customs and traditions prevailing amongst the Mizo society. This historic Act will ensure equality of gender in Mizo society.
23. The Department of Tourism has been making endless efforts to place Mizoram as a prominent tourist destination in the Tourism Map of India and in the international market at large. Adventure Tourism, Rural Tourism and Eco-Tourism have been identified as potential areas for attracting tourists to Mizoram and thrust has been given to develop this sector.
24. The country under Digital India initiatives aims to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. This will provide transparency and ease of doing business for the public and government. We in Mizoram are also on the road to providing broadband internet connectivity right upto the Village level under BharatNet programme.
25. Land has been acquired near NEIGHRIMS, Shillong for construction of Mizoram House which will benefit medical patients. The New Mizoram House at Rajarhat, New Town, Kolkata will also greatly benefit patients referred to Kolkata. Land for construction of Mizoram House at Bangalore has been allotted by the Govt. of Karnataka on lease.
I take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to all the NGOs, Churches, the General Public and the Media for reposing their faith and trust and for providing unflinching support and cooperation to the Government in all its endeavours for the development of Mizoram. I am grateful to the parade contingents, the students and all the people who have gathered here today.
On this sacred day, let us all resolve to preserve and strengthen the unity and integrity of our great nation. Let us re-dedicate ourselves to work unitedly for the progress and prosperity of our State and our country and resolve to leave a rich legacy based on the foundations of our Constitution to the future generation.