The Laurels of March 14, 1989
By: Elias Bejjani
March 14, 2006

On March 14, 1989, the army of the Land of the Cedars, (Lebanon) and its people fought a War of Liberation against a vile and cowardly occupier that promoted fear and surrender and, with the help of its inside boys – Trojan horses and bonded serfs – indecision and subservience.  The Baathist Syrian occupier, under the pretense of brotherhood and with unparalleled feeble-mindedness and ignorance, thought it could make our people kneel, rape our land, and uproot our roots and our identity.

That War of March was heroic. It purified the minds and energized the wills, and uncovered the traitors and their conspiracies. It freed our Lebanese people from tradition and made them aware of the plot that targeted them.

That was a rightful war of self-defense that ended with the fall of the legitimate Transitional Military Government, the exile of its leaders and the occupation of the free zone. Although it did not, at the time, lead to the liberation of the land and to the freeing of the decision-making, it nevertheless proved to the chagrin of the tyrants our legitimate right to the nation of the forefathers and their sacrifices.

Those of our honorable leaders, our soldier heroes, our men of the cloth and our lay people who stood up to the occupier, had the honor of trying and earned the scepter of dignity and pride.

Since 1990, the Lebanese sovereignists in the homeland and the Diaspora persisted on celebrating every year this pioneering and historic milestone of dignified struggle, because it represents faith in one’s rights, a testimony to these rights, and the will to sacrifice everything for them. It is a milestone whose headline is the rejection of a humiliating fait accompli, and the steadfastness in confronting the oppressive and dark forces of evil. A milestone of a noble resistance, a vindication of a nation deeply-rooted in history, and the preservation of a dignity that never tolerated humiliation. Indeed, the essence of a salvation of rebirth and renewal from the ashes of the occupation.

It is a message from the fighters of the Land of the Cedars to the free world and history, written in the blood of righteous martyrs and valiant heroes. It declared loud and clear that the vitality of the people of this land, that was blessed by the Virgin Mary and in whose bosom Jesus-Christ performed his first miracle, does not and will not die no matter how numerous and how criminal may the butchers and the tyrants be. They are a people that were always reborn from the ashes to surge to the skies like the Phoenix.

This day commemorates a courageous rejection by a great and steadfast people and a patriotic resistant army. A message to the covetous and renegade invaders that the Land of the Cedars is stronger than all of them, no matter how powerful and mighty they may be.

A revolution of justice against tyranny, subservience and enslavement that changed the hearts and minds and opened the eyes of our young and our leaders. And here we are today witnessing its repercussions and the achievement of the liberation of Lebanon and the evacuation of the forces of occupation from it. A truly distinguished liberation milestone whose banner was lifted high by the young of Lebanon who continue to this day to uphold the principles of freedoms and the dignity and rights of every human being, and of liberation and emancipation.

March 14, 1989 liberated our people from tradition and opened their eyes to the conspiracy. It strengthened their resolve and attachment to their liberty and rights. And what is that other March 14, 2005 milestone but the inevitable and natural outcome of that first step for which the way was paved by the hands, voices, feet and rifles of young people who struggled with faith and determination through the long years of the occupation and the rule of the puppets? It is a commemoration that has become the property of every Lebanese and a new Independence Day for them and the nation. Together we liberated the land and evicted the armies of occupation, and together we have recovered Lebanon for all the Lebanese.

Let the March 14, 1989 memory, whose beacon remains lit in our consciences as a pledge, an oath, a constitution by which we commit ourselves and for which we work tirelessly to secure a future we want prosperous for our children and the nation.

The wealth of this nation on its tiny geographic confines, in spite of the scarcity of its resources and the small numbers of its people, resides in its historic depth and in the faith of its citizens, residents and émigrés, in its eternal existence and its sanctity.
No power, no matter how great, can eliminate our Lebanon, with its cultural heritage and distinct identity that are seven thousand years old, or erase that identity or eliminate its cultural mission.
On the commemoration of the heroic March 14, the blood of our civilian and military heroes cries out to us, they who gave everything on the altar of the nation so we can live free and independent, in dignity and pride.
The repercussions and incentives of March 14 continue, and they will not stop until our people are emancipated from fear and indecision.
We say it loud and clear: NO to the new and improved forces of subjugation that are trying to control our capabilities and our decision-making with the mentality of the occupier and the mindset of its residues.
A million NO to anyone who is fool enough to think that they can reduce our history and the uniqueness of our diverse society to impose our leaders and representatives on us, or fabricate electoral laws customized to their petty turf and greedy interests.
NO. Lebanon will not be subjugated, and they cannot kill in us the spirits of Gebran, Zeinoun, Cadmos, Melqart and Hannibal and our thirst for sovereignty, liberty and independence.

A nation that has begotten men and women who have excelled in every sphere of life and in every far corner of the world never died and will never die.  

Elias Bejjani
*Human Rights activist, journalist & political commentator.
*Spokesman for the Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation (CLHRF)
*Media Chairman for the Canadian Lebanese Coordinating Council (LCCC)