FOUR HUNDRED youths participated in the Patriotism Environmental and Citizenship Education (PEACE) graduation ceremony held yesterday at the University of Trinidad and Tobago's South Campus in San Fernando.
The PEACE programme forms part of the Ministry of National Security's initiative to commemorate this year's 50th anniversary, and involves various sectors of the protective services engaging in activities with citizens.
In delivering the welcome address at the auditorium of the UTT's campus, Colonel Phillips Spencer said the programme was an idea conceived in May 2011, and approved by Cabinet five months ago.
Spencer, the chairman of the Ministry's 50th Anniversary Celebration Committee, said over the five-week programme, participants showed a growth in talent, creativity, love for country, patriotism and citizenship.
"Our committee has recognised that if we succeed at this moment in our nation's history in inspiring the young people of this country, our nation would have come to a significant changed moment from which we will never be the same again, because of the sense of patriotism and citizenship that would exist beyond our 50th anniversary."
Spencer said he hoped the programme would become an annual event.
National Security Minister Jack Warner was on the programme to deliver the feature address at the ceremony. Spencer however explained Warner was "unavoidably" absent.
The Minister was represented by his adviser Wayne Riley.
Warner joined Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal in a motorcade in Debe celebrating the Olympic athletes.