President George Weah bestowed the nation’s highest honor on his former mentor, former Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger and former Ghanaian President John Agyekum Kufuor among others during the celebration of Liberia’s 171st national Flag Day on Friday, 24 August.
Former President Kufuor received the Colar of State, Most Venerable Order of the Pioneers, while Sir Wenger, received the Knight Grand Commander, Humane Order of African Redemption. His fellow French compatriot, Coach Claude Marie Francois Le Roy, of the Togolese national team received the Knight Commander of Humane Order of African Redemption.
Other honorees included former Lonestar Coach Alhaji Frank Jerico Nagbe, Commander, Star of Africa; Mr. Dominic Vava George, former Lonestar Coach; and basketball icon Ms. Gbuor S. Wilson, Commander, Star of Africa.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Weah called for a combine effort in the search for peace and prosperity here.
“Let us combine our collective efforts to search for peace and prosperity,” he said at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville Friday, and prayed that peace reigns over the land here.
Mr. Weah further called on Liberians to take time and reflect on those things that unite them rather than dwell on things that will divide them.
The president said he seeks to unite Liberia through peace and reconciliation and notes that the celebration was done in obedience and compliance with the laws of the Republic of Liberia.
He also emphasized the importance of the Liberian flag as a national symbol saying it represents Liberians to the outside world.
Liberians legislators passed an Act in 1915, setting aside August 24 of each year as national Flag Day after seven women designed the Liberian Flag in 1847.
And President Weah says he believes that the Oration delivered by his youthful Deputy Labor Minister Atty. Phil T. Dixon has given much fruits for thought.
The young national Flag Day Orator says there is a clear obligation here to reposition every Liberian within the national purpose and to create a national frame of mind that is truly independent.
He considers the Flag as a principal representation of a state of mind that people believe and hold dearly.
Proffering suggestions on what is the national purpose, Atty. Dixon cites among other things, individual dignity, and the participation of every citizen in their government.
He also cites the development of young people, the chance to practice religious beliefs and the opportunity to be granted a second chance to work towards the achievement of “our” dreams.
Students representing various high schools defied a heavy downpour on Friday on honor of the flag as they give eye’s – rights past before President Weah outside the stadium ahead of the indoor program.
At the event, government announced full college scholarship for seven students that performed excellently during the past West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) to study outside of Liberia for four to five years.
By Winston W. Parley