The Government of Liberia yesterday announced that in keeping with the Patriotic Observance Law of 1956, this July 26, the Nation’s 167th Independence Day, will be celebrated as a public holiday but with a divergence.
This means that the celebration will go ahead without the usual oration which has characterized the celebrations over the years. During last year’s celebration in Tubmanburg, Bomi County, the Chairman of the ruling Unity Party, Cllr. Varney B. Sherman served as orator.
According to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs release, while traditional events preceding Independence Day, as well as the Formal Official Program, will continue, all other festivities have been called off.
The Office of the Chief of Protocol, Republic of Liberia, thereby announces the observance of the 2014 Independence Anniversary will thus be, as follows:
On Friday, July 18, and Sunday, July 20, respectively, Intercessory Prayers for the Nation will be held by Prelates, Priests, Deans, Evangelists, Imams, Elders and other members of the Sacerdotal Order, regardless of religious creed.
They will gather with one purpose, in their respective places of worship, in each city, town, village, hamlet and home, to offer thanks and praises to God for His blessings showered upon Liberia in past and present times and beseech Him for his continuing goodness and beneficiaries toward all peoples and Nations, especially the Republic of Liberia.
It is therefore a requirement that all Officials of Government assemble in mosques and churches on the specified dates.
On Thursday, July 24, at 4 p.m. in the C. Cecil Dennis, Jr. Auditorium, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the President of the Republic, Her Excellency Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Grand Master of the Order of the Distinctions of Liberia, will confer honors upon distinguished personalities/citizens for their invaluable services to the Nation and to humanity.
On Saturday, July 26, at 8 a.m., President Sirleaf, Commander- in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia, will review the troops at the Barclay Training Center.
At 10 a.m., the Official Programme commemorating the 167th Independence Day will be held at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion on Ashmum Street, Monrovia.
The latest twist by the government comes in the wake of calls by some Liberians, including former Public Works Minister Samuel K. Woods that this year’s celebration should be done differently in the face of the Ebola outbreak, the violence in nimbi and other issues.