Armed Forces Day To Be Observed as ‘National Holiday’

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President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has by Proclamation declared Saturday, February 11, as “Armed Forces Day,” to be observed throughout the country as a national holiday.

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo will serve as the national orator for this year’s Armed Forces Day celebration on Saturday, February 11, according to the Ministry of Defense. This year’s Armed Forces Day is being celebrated under the theme: “The AFL Supporting and Defending our Democratic Transition.”

The AFL began festivities for the celebration on Sunday, February 5, with a thanksgiving and intercessory prayer service at the United Pentecostal Church in the Monrovia suburb of Sinkor.

Another program was also held at the Monrovia City Hall on Tuesday, February 7, when Dr. Henry Biomah Fahnbulleh, National Security Advisor to the President, called on members of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) to demonstrate patriotism and let it be their hallmark as professional soldiers in a democratic system.

According to a Foreign Affairs Ministry release, President Sirleaf, who is also Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), has further ordered all military and paramilitary organizations in the country to organize and execute appropriate programs, parades and ceremonies in recognition of the day.

The President also directs that special attention and honor be given to veterans of the Army and the Coast Guard, who have seen active duty and experienced actual services therein, and upheld the tenets of democracy and human rights.

The Proclamation further states that with the professional development of our men and women in arms, the new AFL has been reinvigorated to discharge its constitutional responsibilities of safeguarding the country’s borders and remaining vigilant for possible foreign aggression against the state.

She meanwhile ordered that all government offices, public and business houses be closed on that day from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

This year’s celebration is the 60th year in the history of the formation of the army. It is being celebrated under the theme, “The Armed Forces of Liberia: Supporting and defending our Democratic Transition.”

The Legislature declared February 11 each year as “Armed Forces Day,” to be observed as a national holiday in recognition of the vital role of the AFL in defending and protecting Liberia’s territorial integrity and its people from foreign aggression and upholding the social and political liberty of the people of
Liberia as enshrined in the Constitution.

The observance of the day is also based on government’s decision to raise awareness and to recognize the talents, services, patriotism, loyalty and gallantry for the upkeep of the “Noble Heritage” by those men and women who are now memorialized through the establishment of the Department of Veterans
Affairs as ordered by the Act of the Legislature on July 22, 2008.

The 2008 National Defense Act calls on the AFL to remain steadfast in supporting the foundation for long-term security and economic development as well as fostering regional peace for the consolidation of our emerging democracy.

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