President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Wednesday, March 15, visited and laid a wreath at the burial site of Liberia’s first President, Joseph Jenkins (J.J.) Roberts.
“In his memory once again recognizing his contribution to Liberia, I lay this wreath,” the President said.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the statement when she visited the Palm Groove Cemetery on Center Street, Monrovia, to lay a wreath and paid tribute to President Roberts.
The President then recapped the late President J.J. Roberts’ remarkable and outstanding leadership role exhibited in positioning the country with commitment towards its development agenda.
President Sirleaf prayed for God’s protection and the peaceful rest of his soul and the blessings of God on Liberia.
The holiday of the late President J.J. Roberts seeks to honor the first President of Liberia and is celebrated on March 15 each year in keeping with an Act of the Legislature.
The late J.J. Roberts was born on March 15, 1809 in Norfolk, Virginia, USA.
In 1828, he immigrated to Liberia, under the auspices of the American Colonization Society (ACS). In July 1847, Liberia became an independent state. Presidential election took place in October 1847. Roberts won the election and sworn into office in January 1848.
He was re-elected three times and served as a President for eight years. He died February 24, 1876.
Meanwhile, Assistant Education Minister for Basic and Secondary Education, Felecia Doe-Somah, said President Roberts had a passion to see people around him grow and look even better than him.
She said it was based on such an idea that President Roberts gave back to Liberia all he had for the education of young people.
Minister Doe-Somah therefore called on young Liberians to take advantage of every available opportunity to learn, if they must cope with future challenges.
She noted that the youth should recognize a humble beginning and learn to work within their means and be able to give back to the country.
For her part, the President of the J. J. Roberts Students Association, Ms. Amelia Gueh, said the J. J. Roberts Education Foundation cannot solve all the problems of the growing number of students by itself, and appealed for more assistance to the foundation.
They both made the statements yesterday in Monrovia during the official program marking the observance of President Roberts’ 208th birth anniversary.