Liberia’s former Minister of Information and one of the country’s renowned Historians, J. Emmanuel Bowier who served as this year National Flag Day Orator urged Liberians to be loyal to their Country.
He said one must be loyal to the family, the community, district and county, before becoming loyal to the country they claimed they loved.
Speaking at the well attended and colorful occasion, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said the National Flag must remind Liberians of belonging to one nation – indivisible, with liberty and justice to all.
She noted that the flag signifies a symbol that calls us to unity, in which we find strength, a bridge to peace where we stand ready to build a strong a prosperous society and in tolerance where we disabuse our minds of division and pettiness. The Liberian Chief Executive acknowledged that indeed Liberians have come together to reflect on two qualities – namely patriotism and self-discipline – and to consider their role in national transformation.
She reminded Liberians to be patriotic and to love their country, but added that “Patriotism also requires a measure of honesty. A patriot’s love of country will be motivation and the best it can be; a patriot, therefore, must honestly evaluate the state of his or her nation”.
President Sirleaf challenged her compatriots to appreciate successes as well as many challenges we face as a nation. She said amid the many problems, “We still see Liberian students and teachers doing great things. The results of the national examinations, recently received, demonstrated that far too many students are completing Grade 9 or Grade 12 without mastering the required skills, Said President Sirleaf: “Yet, 35 schools achieved a 100% pass rate for their Grade 12 entrants; however these students and teachers exemplify the self-discipline that is necessary for national transformation and deserve our congratulations.
She observed that the Liberian nation will be transformed not through sweeping gestures at high levels but as we persevere to strengthen our schools, to improve our skills, to bring up our children to be the best that they can be.
The winners of this year’s Cadet Drill Corp competition were J.J. Robert High School, Gray D. Alison, and Patemelia Academy School System respectively – all of whom received trophies. St. Teresa’s Convent was rated the best dressed school while Cathedral High School, most disciplined.