On the 117th birth anniversary of Liberia's 18th President, William VS Tubman, celebrated annually as a national holiday, President Ellen Johnson Sirealf yesterday urged Liberians to remember the great sacrifices Tubman made to develop the nation, and called for unity to emulate his legacy of the national unification and integration policy.
"During the era of President Tubman we did not know violence; we did not know destruction; and because of that, Liberia was able to make progress," she recalled beside Tubman's tomb at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion where she led the Tubman clan to pay homage to the late president.
"Our people were unified through his unification policy. Investors came to the country through his Open Door Policy; and Liberia had a great future. [But] Since his time [ended] there have been troubles," President Sirleaf noted.
She extended gratitude to Tubman's family, and expressed admiration for his ideals as she called on all Liberians to emulate the spirit of unification initiated by the man Liberians fondly called the 'Grand Oldman'.
She added: "And so with the family, I have come on behalf of the government and people of Liberia to say to you that we honor his memory; we cherish his ideals; and we hope that we can all find a way to move forward in the spirit in which he led this country."
Tubman's rule over Liberia spanned 1 January 1944 to 21 July 1971 when he died in London following a prostate gland surgery, leaving the Open Door Policy that attracted investors, and the National Unification and Integration policy aimed at creating homogeneity among the citizens, as his legacy for posterity.