Editorial: Reforming Decoration Day

On Wednesday, March 8, 2011 Liberians gathered at the various cemeteries and other areas throughout the country to give face-lift to the various grave sites (vogues and tombs) of their loved ones who departed this world sometimes ago.

The Day was in commemoration of National Decoration Day, set aside by an Act of the Liberian Legislature for the observance of the second Wednesday of March each year to remember the live and deeds of the faithful departed while on earth. While we do still appreciate and honor the very good intentions of our Legislators upon to present for Decoration Day in Liberia, the essence of this day for a few years now continues to be misconstrued by many of our compatriots.

When the day’s observation should be characterized by solemn reflections on our own relationships with our departed loved ones while cleaning and repainting their graves, pomes and pageantries overshadow such purpose. And at the core of such un-solemn celebrations are high alcoholism and drunkenness, profane and unpleasant discussions, as well as other indecent behaviors at the various cemeteries. Of course, Wednesday’s Decoration Day was the worst of the previous ones considering the unpleasant attitudes exhibited by many of our compatriots who use the day for all forms of indecencies.

We do also remember how similar abuses characterize other national holidays in Liberia, such as March 15 and November 29 (JJ Roberts and Tubman Birthdays). Such unwholesome behaviors perpetrated mainly by most of those considered ‘future leaders’ of this country many at times, result to accidents, injuries and deaths either at the scenes (beaches) or on the streets as well as the boulevards in Monrovia and its environs. We see this misinterpretation of these holidays as not only very unbecoming, but ‘national image harming’ by our so-called precious jewels or future leaders.

This is why we join the rallying calls by a few  well-meaning Liberians for this 52nd Legislature or the next to revisit the Act creating Decoration Day in Liberia. We do emphasize that, in such action by our honorable Legislators, Decoration Day  be reformed to National Memorial Day wherein the various places of worship will be the center of attractions.

Here, the true meaning of the intentions of Law would be reflected, while the various city corporations in the country shoulder the responsibility of giving face-lift or cleaning as well as repainting the various graves of our faithful departed or loved ones. We believe that with this change, the decency which characterizes our way of life will be upheld, and those who only use the occasions to expose themselves as uncivilized people would have no opportunity of such to misbehave.

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