Every year more than a million people visit the Alamo where 187 patriots gave their lives for Texas independence and the Alamo is known as the 'Shrine of Texas Liberty'.
In Ulster there was another great siege, the Siege of Derry, and the walls of the Maiden City can be described as the 'Shrine of Ulster Liberty', where the defenders held out against the Jacobites and took their stand against tyranny and arbitrary power.
As we approach 2012, the year when Londonderry is the United Kingdom City of Culture, I hope that the story of the siege will be given due recognition in the programme of events. It is the most important and iconic event in the history of the city and must have an prominent role in the cultural celebrations.
I look forward to hearing how the organisers of the City of Culture programme plan to remember that iconic episode in the city's history.