Moon Author's Review
National Heroes Park, which encompasses Heroes Memorial, occupies 30 hectares below Cross Roads on Marescaux Road within the large roundabout known as Heroes Circle. The roundabout surrounds what was once the city's main sporting ground, later becoming the Kingston Race Course. The park was also the site of several important historical events, including Emancipation Day celebrations on August 1, 1938; the jubilee celebrating Queen Victoria's reign in 1887; and the free Smile Jamaica concert where a wounded Bob Marley offered the people of Kingston a 90-minute performance in defiance of his would-be assassins in 1976. Heroes Park is also said to have been the battleground where warring factions from East and West Kingston would face off in organized skirmishes.
The memorial, located at the southern end of the park, commemorates Jamaica's most important historical figures and events. Black Nationalist Marcus Garvey rests here, as does labor leader Alexander Bustamante, who formed the Jamaica Labor Party, and his cousin Norman Manley, who founded the opposition People's National Party. Norman's son Michael Manley, who gave the country its biggest communist scare for his closeness with Cuba's Fidel Castro, is also interred here. Paul Bogle and George William Gordon are also honored for their role in the Morant Bay Rebellion, which was at the vanguard of Jamaica's civil rights movement in the post-emancipation period. The most recent icon to be laid to rest at Heroes Memorial is the cultural legend Louise Bennett, referred to lovingly by all Jamaicans as "Miss Lou," who died in June 2006.