President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has called on Liberians to keenly listen to and reflect on the oration of the 170th Independence Day Celebration, which she described as an "extraordinary message." President Sirleaf said: "If Liberians are interested in changing or re-directing the course of the Liberian society - from the worst-to the old good days, when everything proceeded in line with societal norms-they should listen and reflect on the oration."
The Liberian leader expressed the hope that we should all reflect on those things that the orator said to us. She said on Sunday, July 23, 2017, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Bishop, David Daniel gave a stirring sermon that we all listened to and we hope that it went deep into our hearts. Today, Dr. Hermon Brown has 'laid to bed' our national sores. "I hope we can all go to reflect on those statements as we determine what role each and every one of us would play in sustaining the peace," she said.
According to the Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the statement on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion on Ashmun Street in Monrovia. She among other things - congratulated Liberians and residents who turned out for the celebration of Liberia's 170th Independence Anniversary.
President Sirleaf, as Grand Master of the Order of Distinction also used the occasion to admit Dr. Herman Browne, Director of Systematic Theology and National Orator 2017 and the Rt. Rev. Bishop David R. Daniels, Jr. Presiding Bishop, of the 15th Episcopal District -AME Church and Guest Preacher, Thanksgiving and Intercessory Service into Knight Grand Band, Humane Order of African Redemption and Knight Commander, Most Venerable Order of the Pioneer respectively for their invaluable services to the nation and mankind.
Earlier, the National Orator of Liberia's 170th Independence Day Anniversary Celebration, Dr. Herman B. Browne, said: "Today, we celebrate a special chapter in the life of our nation, 170th years of existence, as a free and sovereign nation."
Dr. Browne called on Liberians to go back to basics by demonstrating respect for constituted authority, justice, honesty and values whether divinely commanded or socially approved to cultivate a wholesome functioning society. He noted that in every home or family, in every school or playground, in every church or mosque, in every institution or workplace, these should be demonstrated and demanded of all.
The National Orator said respect for constituted authority begins at home - with parents and guardians - mother, father, uncles, aunties, grandpa and grandma. He said that in life, we are all under authority. He maintained that law and order should be rhythm of family life that enable relationship and trust to be built; where boundaries are establish and the common good was indistinguishable from the upholding of this order.
The Episcopal Prelate, admonished his audience to elevate the discourse on public life; and according to him, "in our world today, we rely often on the media to interpret what is going on all around us in relations to the public instructions we fund and to which we rightly look for a leadership accountable to us for the services they render.
Dr. Brown commended members of the Liberian media for their tenacity, the commitment they demonstrate to public scrutiny and exposure of matters that should rightly concern the public. He said while it is true that the media have come of age, but said he was deeply concerned about the propagandistic element coupled with 'tabloid-incensed ill-informed assumptions far too often form the basis for public discussions that are directly transmitted into our homes.
Dr. Browne challenged the media to do better than what it is today - if the Liberian press is tilted to their educational roles seriously. He admonished Liberians to elevate the discourse during these electioneering periods to maintain the peace. "When we do not elevate the discourse and allow it to degenerate into exclusionary tribalist rhetoric.
The National Day Orator cautioned Liberians to be careful with the language they used, which according him might mis-shape reality. "I do not accept that I am a citizen of Maryland, Sinoe or Grand Kru County, neither must we accept that we are Nimba citizens, or Bomi citizens, but instead we are citizens of the Republic of Liberia and only residents of counties." Dr. Browne pointed out.
On the issue of education, Dr. Browne emphasized that the peace Liberians are enjoying today, will falter, if people remain uninformed and poorly groomed, because an informed society is less likely to repeat the mistakes of the past. He made specific reference to the secondary and tertiary levels of the educational sector of Liberia and he noted among other things - still require a good deal of attention to be given to reading, writing, analytical and thinking skills.
The Episcopal clergyman said graduate programs still need a lot of work to be truly competitive, if quality is what Liberia seeks.
Dr. Browne recalled the enormous threats that the deadly Ebola Virus Disease posed to this country and its inhabitants vis-a-viz the official predictions by the World Health Organization (WHO), that the death toll would rise to nearly 1.3 million people in the region even in the wake of interventions, at least 21,000 cases would emerge in Liberia alone, before January 2015.
Dr. Browne noted that the Government of Liberia, under the leadership of President Sirleaf, took a position of rejecting those predictions from the (WHO), "Madam President you and your government saw the resolve that God had placed in us, and you took the position that the resilience of your people was the only statistics that mattered; and announced publicly that the WHO's calculation was wrong and that their predictions will not come to past. Madam President, this was an occasion when the courage of your government was met with collective commitments of your people to defeat the virus; and inspired by your leadership, we succeeded. We salute you," the Rev. Dr. Hermon B. Browne said passionately.