REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY DR. GEORGE MANNEH WEAH, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA THE OFFICIAL LIGHTING OF THE NATIONAL CHRISTMAS TREE AND A CANTATAHELD AT THE GROUNDS OF THE EXECUTIVE MANSIONDECEMBER 18, 2020

My fellow Liberians (both at home and abroad), foreign residents, members of the clergy here present, and Christians around the world.

We have come together once again to carry out a very important national tradition – the lighting of the National Christmas Tree. This ceremony marks the official beginning of the Christmas Season when members of the Christian faith around the world celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This event, which took place over two (2) centuries ago, has always been commemorated as a time of joy and happiness, a time of fellowship and goodwill, and a time of peace. But as we do so this year, we cannot help but reflect on the terrible devastation suffered by all peoples and nations of the world since last year’s Christmas, which was caused by the advent of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.

In just this one single year, this plague has infected dozens of millions of people around the globe and has caused the untimely deaths of tens of thousands of these persons. And even though new vaccines have been recently developed that should possibly bring this pandemic under control, we are beginning to witness the second wave of infections that appears to be more deadly than ever before.

However, we should all be thankful to the Almighty God, that He has spared Liberia from the extremes of this global scourge. Through His bountiful Grace and Mercy, we have been able to implement measures that have enabled us to contain the pandemic and minimize its negative effects on our people. And He has also guided and strengthened the hands and given courage to the hearts of our doctors, nurses, and other caregivers who are on the frontline of our struggle with this deadly disease. We salute you, and applaud you all!!

Let me also take this opportunity to thank our International and Bilateral Partners for their cooperation, goodwill, and support is given to my Government to assist us to keep this Nation safe. WE APPRECIATE YOU!!!

And so, even as we celebrate the birth of the Infant Jesus, we must take pause to reflect on the blessings that God has bestowed upon us as a Nation and as a People. We have faced many challenges this year, but He has guided our Ship of State through contrary winds and troubled waters, with a steady hand, and brought us safely to a peaceful shore.

Let us, therefore, reach out to each other, as we share the joy that Christmas brings to the World. Let us extend a hand of friendship to each other, forgive each other, and be our brother’s keepers. Above all, let there be peace among us, and Goodwill between us.

And as we put the challenges of this Covid-19 year behind us, let us look to the future with confidence, and with the hope that there are better days ahead of us. Let us resolve to overcome our difficulties and differences, and work together to take this nation to a brighter future.

Let me also remind you that the Coronavirus is still an ever-present threat to our health and well-being. I, therefore, urge all of you to be careful as you gather for your celebrations, take all necessary precautions, and strictly observe all health protocols as published by the Ministry of Health.

And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, before I push the button to light up this beautiful National Christmas Tree, let me, on behalf of my wife, The First Lady Madam Clar M. Weah, and my entire family, wish all of you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. I thank you.

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