Ahead of this year’s Armed Forces Day celebration, which is to take place on February 11, 2019, authorities of the Ministry of National Defense (MOD), on Monday, February 4, released a calendar of events, marking the army’s interactive dialogues with the youth and student community as well as an award ceremony that is high on the agenda.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Building a Force for Good Through Service and Welfare,” while former Associate Justice Philip A. Z. Banks will serve as the keynote speaker.
According to the itineraries, the 62nd anniversary of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) will highlight and showcase developments and progress made within the defense force.
“The Armed Forces Day celebration has always been used as an opportunity for the public, foreign guests and dignitaries to be acquainted with the activities regarding development and progress within the AFL,” Anthony Lander, director of communications, told a team of reporters.
“As part of this year’s celebration, there will be an interactive dialogue between the AFL and the youth through the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) and the student community at the African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU) on Camp Johnson Road, in central Monrovia, today, February 5, 2019.”
“During the dialogue, Chief of Staff Major/General Prince C. Johnson III, along with the student groupings, will interact and discuss the need to appreciate the peace Liberians have and what everyone must do to sustain that very peace,” Lander said.
Also, on Thursday, February 7, there will be a symposium, which is expected to be held at the Monrovia City Hall, under the theme, “Sustaining Peace and Security through Capacity-building and Provision of Welfare for AFL personnel.”
Cllr. T. Negbalee Warner, Dean of Lewis Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia (UL), will be the symposium’s keynote speaker, while Ledgerhood Rennie, Liberia Broadcasting System Director-general, will moderate the event.
Those invited as discussants are the chairman on Senate Security, Defense and Veteran Affairs Committee Nimba County Senator Thomas Grupee, chairman on National Defense Committee of the House of Representatives Jimmy W. Smith, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection Williametta Piso Saydee Tarr as some of the discussants at the symposium.
Others will include St. Peter’s Lutheran Church Head Pastor Reverend J. Lewis G. McCay, Eddie D. Jarwolo, executive director of the National Youth Movement for Transparent Elections (NAYMOTE), president of the Christian Association of the Blind (CAB) Beyan Kota, and the principal of Kingdom Foundation Institute Madam Comfort A. Enders.
On Friday, February 8, there will be Jumma Service (Islamic) worship at the Edward Beyan Kesselly (EBK) Barracks Mosque on Robertsfield highway.
Right after the Jumma service, there will be a clean-up campaign and a medical outreach on Saturday, February 9, in the Battery Factory community, Gardnerville Township, outside Monrovia, while the medical outreach will be in Yarkpai Clan, Todee District, Montserrado County.
Meanwhile about 700 persons are expected to benefit from the medical outreach.
The purpose of the clean-up and medical outreach are to enhance civil-military relations between the citizenry and personnel of the AFL, while the soldiers interact with the civilian population through the cleaning-up campaign. The medical outreach are to showcase how the army has been transformed into a professional force for good.
Also on Sunday, February 10, at 11 a.m. there will be a Thanksgiving Service at the Eliza Turner African Methodist Episcopal Church on Camp Johnson Road, Monrovia.
“On Monday, February 11, the official celebration will kickoff at 6 a.m. at the Barclay Training Center (BTC).
In a related development, Lt/Col. David Hurber, Lt/Col. Mustapha Jimoh, Lt/Col. Emmanuel Larbi Sarpong Gyadu and Sergeant Brima A. Massalay, all active personnel of the AFL, are being selected as “Distinguished Service Order recipients.”
They have served the AFL and continue to serve since 2007.