15 May 2014

Liberia: Bryant Laid to Rest - Liberians Witness Emotional Funeral

Monrovia — Liberians gathered in their numbers Wednesday to bid farewell to the former National Transitional Government of Liberia Chairman Charles Gyude Bryant in a funeral attended by scores of government officials including President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

The coffin bearing the mortal remains of the late Bryant's was not wrapped with the National Flag as is done with individuals given state burial, an indication that the last wish of Bryant according to his family to not be accorded state burial was adhered to.

It was an emotional scene with tears and words of sorrow from several sections of the church as Liberians bid farewell to the man who played a role in bringing peace to a nation at the time in trouble. The Bryant family has announced moment after the death of Bryant that the former NTGL Chairman had made a wish not to have the involvement of the state in his funeral.

Broad Street, Central Monrovia was soon taken over by cars and crowd entering the Trinity Cathedral Episcopal Church to pay their last respect to the former fallen Transitional Chairman who turned over power in 2006 to the government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

The church was packed to capacity with members of the cabinet, including President Sirleaf, members of the National Legislature, members of the Mason, Church members, families, friends and other well wishers as the church edifice could not hold the crowd with some sitting and standing outside, lining the main street.

Humble Bryant

In his funeral discourse, Episcopal Bishop Jonathan B.B. Hart said, during Bryant last days, he served the church diligently and was very humble.

"Gyude Bryant never held onto State power when it was time for him to leave. He never held onto State power as some of us do around here," said Bishop Jonathan B.B. Hart. "Because he had the fear of God, he peacefully turned over state power in 2006 to a democratically elected government, because he was a peaceful man," Bishop Hart stressed.

Bishop Hart said Brother Gyude healed the wounds of Liberians by bringing peace at the time when Liberia was hopeless.

"Therefore, people should always do away with greed and power in order to enjoy the peace that Liberia has." Wesley Momo Johnson, who served as Vice Chairman of the NTGL paid tribute on behalf of the National Transitional Government.

"The Late chairman Bryant was known to be a peaceful man, this is why he turned over state power to President Sirleaf on January 17, 2006 at sharp 12:00 p.m.

He did not wait an hour, minute or second late, before turning over power, because he wanted peace and did not want to be removed by the barrel of the gun", said the Vice Chairman of the Transitional Government."

Due to the dying wish of the late Transitional Chairman, not to be accorded a state funeral or a 21-gun salute as is done during the burial of other former Liberian Presidents.

The casket bearing the mortal remains of the late Chairman Charles Gyude Bryant was covered with the church blanket instead of the National Flag of Liberia.

Former Chairman, Gyude Bryant participated in several peace initiatives to end the war and in 2005, he was nominated Chairman of a transitional arrangement that ushered peace to Liberia. He served as head of the NTGL from October 2003-January 2006.

Chairman Bryant administration fully implemented the mandate of the peace agreement as outlined in the Accra Peace Accord: disarmed warring factions, established and maintained the government and held Legislative and Presidential elections. In recognition of his invaluable services to his Country, Bryant was awarded the distinguished service Order on Armed Forces Day in 2011.

The late Bryant was married to Rosie Lee Williams and the union was blessed with two children; Cheryl and Charles Gyude, and the union was later dissolved. Gyude was then blessed with another son, Charles Mleh by his fiancée Sia-Ella Sammy.

He served in various positions in the church and in several civic organizations, and at the age of sixty five, said farewell to his country and the world on April 16, 2014 at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center.


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