July ‘26’ Celebration ‘Different’ this Year

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The upcoming 167th July 26 National Independence Day is expected to be celebrated as an ordinary public holiday, but with a difference, the government has declared.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday, the government disclosed that in
keeping with the ‘Patriotic Observance Law’ of 1956, this year’s July 26, the Nation’s 167th Independence Day, will be celebrated as a public holiday—but with a “divergence.”

However, the statement said, while the usual traditional pageantries or events preceding Independence Day, as well as the formal official program, will continue; all other festivities have been called off with immediate effect.

Therefore, the office of the Chief of Protocol, has released the calendar in observance of the day.

That is to say, the prelates, priests, deans, evangelists, imams, elders and other members of the sacerdotal order will on Friday, July 18, and Sunday, July 20, hold intercessory prayers for the Nation, regardless of religious creed.

They will gather with one purpose, in their respective places of worship, on each city, in town, village, hamlet and home, to offer thanks and praises to God for His blessings showered upon the Nation in past and present times, and beseech Him for his continual  goodness, and beneficent mercies toward all peoples, and Nations, especially Liberia.

“It is therefore a requirement that all officials of government assemble in mosques and churches on the specified dates to observe the occasion,” the statement has said.

Moreover, on Thursday, July 24, at 4 p.m. in the C. Cecil Dennis, Jr., Auditorium, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the President, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Grand Master of the Order of the Distinctions of Liberia, will confer honors upon distinguished personalities/citizens for their “invaluable services” to the Nation and to humanity.

Also, on Saturday, July 26, at 8 a.m., President Sirleaf, in her capacity as Commander-in-Chief (C-I-C) of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), will review the troops at the Barclay Training Center (BTC).

And at 10 a.m., the official programme commemorating the 167th Independence Day will be held at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion on Ashmum Street.

As a tradition, activities marking this year’s Independence Day celebration were officially scheduled for the counties of Grand Kru and Sinoe in the Southeast, but due to “bad road conditions,” the events were rescheduled to Monrovia amidst criticisms from the public.

In Monrovia, it was reported that funding for the events had be swapped to fight the creeping deadly Ebola virus.

Up to the present, it is not clear as how much the government has infused into the series of programs commemorating the day. 

Since the ascendency of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2006, her administration has continued celebrating the July ‘26’ events in the political sub-division of the country, beginning with Monrovia—the capital.
“The celebration of the occasion around the country is an intention of the government to showcase devolution of power,” a political observer has told the Daily Observer via mobile phone.

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