‘168th A Far Different Celebration’

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Referring to the Ebola menace of 2014, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said that the 168th Independence of Liberia “is a celebration far different from that of the previous years as we look back to last year’s true test of our faith and resilience to the challenges posed by an unknown enemy that our nation had never seen before.”

The president said despite those trying times, Liberia never faltered on its development objectives as well as the fundamental principles of the nation dedicated to democracy, the rule of law, human freedom and individual dignity.

Those principals, she said, were strengthened by Liberians’ resolve to defeat the Ebola virus disease (EVD).

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf called on all Liberians irrespective of status to resolve in their hearts to “love our country, protect our heritage and pledge anew to the true ideal of service to our nation.”

She made the call at the July 26th Independence Day celebrations in Greenville, Sinoe county.

“As we celebrate our National milestone, we must be mindful that global conditions force millions of people in all parts of the world to face death, and destruction from wars, earthquakes, floods, terrorism and other violent natural phenomena.

“Sometimes, these tragedies take the form of internal dissent, unrest, oppression and hunger. The ability to surmount these challenges comes from a demonstration of inner strength to survive, to recognize the progress upon which we can build to regain lost ground, to continue to build a nation toward the common goals of peace and prosperity.”

President Sirleaf urged Liberians to work tirelessly adding, “We may not want from you what you can do for your nation, because that would be asking too much in effort of patriotism, in recognition of the long road of definitive and quantifiable progress but we can and must ask for informed positions of expressions which reflect honesty and truth as this is the true test of power.”

She used the occasion to recognize and express gratitude for the unprecedented show of solidarity by the International Community, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Mission on Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), which coordinated and advised on the response that defeated the virus.

“We express profound appreciation to our multilateral and bilateral partners, foundations and individuals from countries all over the world. We especially applaud our continental organizations, economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU), which mobilized unprecedented private sector support and recruited 339 Africans from 16 countries including Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana and Niger, to make the sacrifice to leave their countries and families to join us in the fight.”

She recognized bilateral relations with governments represented near Monrovia that have been cordial and demonstrated the spirit of friendship and solidarity which she said have dominated “our official and special contacts.”

She assured the Doyen and members of the Diplomatic Corps of the continued determination of the Government and People of Liberia to live in peace and friendship with all nations and to work and live together as equal partners in the pursuit of permanent world peace and cooperation.

President Sirleaf’s Independence Day Message yesterday was punctuated with rounds of applause from the audience.

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