On Friday, July 26, 2013, Liberians across the country will join others around the world to celebrate the nation’s 166th Independence Anniversary. Liberia’s Declaration of Independence is a document adopted by the Liberians on July 16 1847 to announce that the Commonwealth colony, founded and controlled by the American Colonization Society was now an independent state known as the Republic of Liberia. The Declaration was written by Hilary Teage and adopted simultaneously with the first Constitution of Liberia. The anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration and accompanying Constitution is celebrated as Independence Day in Liberia.
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, in a Proclamation declaring Friday, July 26, 2013 National Independence Day to be celebrated as a National Holiday throughout the Republic of Liberia, recounted that it was the binding duty of Liberians, in grateful recognition of the bountiful blessings and miraculous deliverances which His Almighty hand has extended to the Nation and its people, to give Thanks, Adoration and Praises to the Lord for saving the state and to commemorate the brave and timely decision of the Nation’s forebears on 26th July, 1847.
The Proclamation is in consonance with the “Patriotic Observances Law” Title 26, Liberian Code of Law of 1956, which sets aside the 26th day of July of each year as a public holiday to be appropriately celebrated as National Independence Day. The Proclamation avers that after due deliberations on the future of the “Settlements” and facing colonial challenges and threats, the founding fathers of Liberia published to the world the historic and Immortal Instrument known as the Declaration Of Independence by which the Commonwealth of Liberia became recognized among the Comity of Nations as a Free, Sovereign and Independent State, thereby warding off encroachment from any colonial power and becoming the First Independent African Republic. It further added that in the spirit of accelerating development in the 15 political sub-divisions of Liberia, the official celebration of the event will be held in Tubmanburg, Bomi County, in collaboration with Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu Counties respectively under the theme: “Consolidating Peace and Reconciliation for Transformation”.
While this year’s Independence Day theme bespeaks of the political will of President Sirleaf to foster the process of national healing, it has now become imperative that those at the level of cabinet ministers, Legislators, as well as local government administration to translate this ‘political will’ into reality to meet this national goal for the growth, development and progress of Liberia-our motherland. In view of the foregoing, we see the President’s desire for the country’s Independence Anniversary every July 26 to be hosted by a county or region may not only be targeted at fast-tracking development in rural Liberia after years of destruction, but to have peace and reconciliation manifested in the minds and attitudes of the ordinary Liberians for the psycho-social transformation of this nation.
Placing the highest degree of sincerity and commitment at the core of such national endeavor, devoid of personal gains and riches, our Legislators et all at the local level, would have and continue to do justice not only to Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as President of Liberia, but themselves as Representatives of the people and the nation itself.
Despite the president’s efforts towards peace and national reconciliation, Montserrado, Grand Bassa, Margibi, Bong, Nimba and Lofa Counties where we previously celebrated our Independence Anniversaries continue to remain grossly divided because of the inability of our lawmakers and other local leaders to manifest sincerity and commitment in National Reconciliation –our only hope and prayer for national renewal and progress. As we celebrate the 166th Independence Anniversary of Mama Liberia in Western Liberia, it is our fervent hope that ‘Tubmanburg-2013’ can be the commencement of the actual transformation of our minds and attitudes, first, for the “Consolidation of Peace and Reconciliation for Transformation” in Liberia.
The fact must be accepted now as the only reality, having been thriving on the path of mere politics and rhetoric from the perspective of reconciliation, that we have nowhere else as a HOME, but LIBERIA.