- Amb. Jervis Witherspoon
Ambassador Jarvis A. Witherspoon, Chief of Protocol for the Republic of Liberia, has announced that the official program for the celebration of Liberia’s 174th Independence Day will be void of the usual festive gatherings and fanfare that characterize the occasion each year.
“This celebration will be very low key, without gathering of people due to the COVID-19. It will not be the usual official festive celebration of the day,” he said in a statement at the MICAT press briefing yesterday.
According to him, there will be an official program but without the gathering of individuals. The program will be a compendium of pre-recorded messages and activities that will be later aired on national radio and relayed by various radio stations across Liberia.
Witherspoon said the 174th independence anniversary will be held under the theme, “Together, We Are Stronger: Fighting COVID-19 and Achieving Development, Peace, Human Rights, Justice, Health and Prosperity for All.”
Dr. Julius Sarwolo Nelson, president of the University of Liberia, will serve as National Orator for the 174th Independence Day celebration.
Witherspoon said on Friday, July 23, intercessory prayers will be said for the country at all mosques, while on Sunday, July 25, there will be thanksgiving as well as intercessory services at all churches.
Providing the special order of activities for Independence Day, Monday, July 26, 2021, Amb. Witherspoon said that, at Four O'clock ante meridian, a gun will be fired from Fort Norris to announce the dawn of the day.
At 6:00 a.m. on Monday, July 26th, the Lone Star flag will be hoisted at the Barclay training center by the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).
“At 8:00 a.m., another gun will be fired for the display of the National Flag at full staff from all public buildings and private residences throughout the Republic and, at Twelve O'clock noon, the National Salute will be fired from Fort Norris,” he said.
At 2:00 p.m., there will be a dedication of the Japanese highway at the Somalia Dive road that has recently been completed.
At 6:00 p.m., a gun will be fired from Fort Norris for the striking of colors.
Witherspoon said “the President and few relevant government officials, along with the Japanese Ambassador, will be present for the dedication on July 26. It will be a very short program where the ribbon will be cut and few remarks will be made.”
He called on all Liberians to observe the celebration at their various homes and avoid public gathering as they remember the birth of the nation.
Below is the Independence Day Proclamation by President George Manneh Weah:
BY THE PRESIDENTWHEREAS, in His infinite goodness and mercy, God has blessed and flourished the work of the minds, hearts and hands of all the people of the Republic of Liberia from July 26, 1847, when this nation was declared a free, sovereign and independent State, and from thence, through the years of our national life, manifold and varied have been the experiences of the nation and its people, who, through it all, have been able to forge their way by dint of perseverance, devotion, and courage; and,
WHEREAS, after due deliberations on the future of the "Settlements" and facing colonial challenges and threats, the Founding Fathers did publish to the world that historic and immortal instrument known as the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, by which the Commonwealth of Liberia became, and was presented to the comity of nations as a free, sovereign and independent state, thereby warding off encroachment from any colonial power, and becoming the first independent African Republic; and,
WHEREAS, it is our right and binding duty, in grateful recognition of the blessings and miraculous deliverances, which His Almighty Hand has extended to us as a Nation and State, although we have been most unworthy of them, to give thanks, adoration and praise unto Him for saving the State, and to commemorate the brave and timely decision of our forebears on 26th July, 1847; and,
WHEREAS, under the "Patriotic and Cultural Observances Law", Title 26, Liberian Code of Laws of 1956, the 26th day of July each year is set aside as a Public Holiday; to be known as "Independence Day" and appropriately celebrated; and,
WHEREAS, the theme for the "2021 Independence Day" is "Together, We Are Stronger: Fighting COVID-19 and Achieving Development, Peace, Human Rights, Justice, Health and Prosperity for All"; and,
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Dr. GEORGE MANNEH WEAH, President of the
Republic of Liberia, by virtue of the Authority in me vested by the Laws of the
Land, do hereby declare and proclaim Monday, July 26, 2021, as "Independence Day"; to be observed throughout the Republic of Liberia as a National Holiday; and do call upon all citizens of the Republic, and all foreign residents within our borders to observe the same as such, and require that all government offices and business houses be closed on this day from 6 o'clock ante meridian to 6 o'clock post meridian.
Furthermore, I do call upon, instruct, invite and request all citizens in solemn cooperation with all Prelates, Priests, Deacons, Evangelists, Imams, Elders and other Members of the Sacerdotal Order, regardless of religious creed, to observe health protocols in their respective places of worship; offering thanks and praises to God for His blessings showered upon the Republic in past and present times, and beseech Him for his continuing goodness and beneficence towards all peoples and nations of the earth; especially, the people of the Republic of Liberia.