Consolidating democracy prerequisites

As we can see, this country is on the path to progress however steady the pace may be now.

As one of the notable achievements, every Liberian can undeniably point to the fact Liberians have lived in peace in the last 10 years. Peace is what we got when our African brothers and sisters and the international intervened.

Then, in October 2005 Liberians boldly demonstrated their will to bounce back again in a democratic election that produced the first female democratically elected President in Africa – Her Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.As we gathered in this great Hall today, we should ask ourselves: after 169 years of existence what have we done, what have we achieved, what accomplishment can we make better, what could we tell our fore-parents if they were sitting in this Pavilion today.You see, it took about a combined 142 year to build Liberia by ourselves without any colonial master.Then, it took us as little as 10 years to destroy 142 years of hard work. specifically highlighting the word “PROGRESS”, because I see the glass as half-full and optimistic about the future of this country called “LIBERIA.” Some may argue “YES” and some may say “NO”.We inflicted maxim damage on ourselves in so short a time. To me, either answer is relative, because we have made some progress, yet still there is a lot to be done in our democracy, in our educational system, in our health care system, in our economy, on gender issues, and in many aspects of the lives of the Liberian people.

So, how long do we think it would take us to rebuild this country and bring it back to its pre-war status? On my way here to the great Republic of Liberia I met a young, bright fellow at the airport in the Washington DC area. While waiting to board our flight to Brussels, I engaged in a candid dialogue about Liberia and its future.Over the years, I have come to observe and realize that no matter where you are on this Planet Earth, no matter who you are, and no matter what you have become over the years, your heart still yearns for your natural point of origin and birth. As of this date in 1847, Liberia became a sovereign nation, making Liberia the first independent democratic country on the African Continent.And so, I am back home and very thankful to Her Excellency President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and the people of Liberia for this great honor to serve as National Orator for this year’s July 26 Independence Day Commemoration. History documents that Liberia was never colonized, nor occupied by any European colonial power.Times have changed as this instance demonstrates how far our country has come as a nation. Today we gather in this great Hall celebrating another year into our existence as a sovereign nation.We live in a unique country as exemplified by me, a simple and common man, standing at this podium to deliver what is one of the most honorable orations in this country. Men, women, and children in the villages, in the towns and cities all over this country and in the Diaspora are celebrating this historic day.Let us encourage each other with progressive ideas so as to rebuild this country and once again make Liberia the pride of Africa and envy of the world. The achievement of peace provides us an opportunity and at the same time imposes upon us the obligation of rebuilding our democracy.