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Independence Day 2019 at the intermediate and Secondary Divisions

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Independence Day 2019

The Intermediate and Secondary Divisions celebrated Independence Day at Msgr. Paul Matar Square.

“Meeting here on Flag Day has become a tradition at Sagesse High School. It is a great honor for me as rector, to address you for the first time on this occasion of the independence of Lebanon, as there’s much to celebrate and many blessings to be grateful for, despite the fact that our country is in turmoil. In fact, we are celebrating this year the centennial declaration of what is called The State of Greater Lebanon, as well as the declaration of Patriarch Elias Peter el Hoayek, the Father of Greater Lebanon, as Venerable.

Patriarch Elias El Hoayek fought ardently for the independence of Lebanon. He played a key role, back in 1920, in the declaration of the state of Greater Lebanon, successfully breaking the shackles of the totalitarian rule of the Ottoman empire and breathing in the life-giving air of liberty. He was known as the man of sincerity, truthfulness, courage, perseverance, and patriotism. He used to be a faithful man true to his Maronite Catholic beliefs, and a conscientious leader who is prudent, altruistic, just, and merciful. Those heroic virtues made Pope Francis elevate him to the rank of Venerable, and incited people to hail him as the father of Lebanonism, moreover the “founder of Lebanon”.

These same virtues, which also characterized back in 1943 the men of independence, are much needed nowadays, seventy-six years after the independence of our beloved country, to bring forth an even “greater” Lebanon, free of corruption, poverty, intolerance, and ignorance. Those values are the ones that our SHS has pledged itself to; those are the values that have built our school community and those same values will make all of you leaders in building the new face of Lebanon. After all, the real heart of Lebanon depends upon the heart of its people. It is from that source that we must look for a genuine reform.

As I look at you today, I can assure you that I can see through your courage and bravery the past that led us to the independence, and through your faith and perseverance the future that will bring our best hopes and aspirations to fruition. Between the past and the future, our present requires from each of us a heart full of wisdom, respect and love, a heart that is truly sagessien, which exclaims with each beat : “I lebanon”, “Je suis Liban”, “أنا لبنان

نعم "أنا لبنان" هو شعارنا لهذه السنة. اخترناه عنوانًا لمسيرتنا التربوية في هذا العام، إيمانًا منّا بأنّ التربية الحقيقية تنبع من وطنية ومواطنية فعليّتين. كما واخترنا هذا اليوم بالذات، الذي نحتفل فيه بذكرى استقلال لبنان، لنطلق هذا الشعار الذي يجعل كلا منا يتماهى مع وطنه فيدرك حق الإدراك معنى الاستقلال وصلته بالهوية الفردية والانتماء الجماعي؛

 فمتى قلتُ أنا لبنان عنيتُ انّ هويتي هي قبل كل شيء لبنانية وأنّ استقلال لبنان مرتبطٌ باستقلاليتي الشخصية عن كل تبعية سياسية أو أيدولوجية .

ومتى قال كلُّ واحد منّا أنا لبنان، نكون قد أكّدنا انتماءنا لوطننا وأننا كلنا لبنان وللبنان ولكل لبنان.

Finally, I leave you with the famous words of the Venerable Patriarch Hoayek who stated once: "both national feeling and religion make it an obligation for you to respect and love everybody whatever their belief may be. Reason leads you to fraternize with the person you live with under the same sky and on the same land." (Hoyek, Al-Zakhair Al-Saniyyat, Jounieh, 1931 p. 501). So we affirm today that we are one undividable nation under God, we are all Lebanese and we pledge ourselves to each other, to coexistence, to fraternity, to human freedom, and to love, the cause that has given light to our Great Lebanon.

عشتم، عاشت الحكمة هاي سكول، عاش لبنان !!!"

Father Joe Daccache