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John Hajjar from the World Council for the Cedar's Revolution, Speech at Memorial Mass

Liturgy mass in memory of Sheikh Pierre Gemayel and MP Gebran Tueni

Date: January 14, 2007

Place: Our Lady of the Cedars of Lebanon Maronite Church Hall, Boston, MA

· Welcome. My name is John Hajjar and I’m pleased that this remembrance is so well attended. I know we are all here to pay tribute to and to express our grief at the brutal assassinations of MP Gebran Tueni and Minister of Industry, Pierre Gemayel. We are also here to make a statement that those in Lebanon and we here in the vast and strong Diaspora, are committed to a free, sovereign, pluralistic and independent Lebanon. That is why these brave men gave their lives. They also gave their lives for the cause of freedom worldwide; not just in Lebanon, and, we here in the US, whether of Lebanese origin or not, give our deepest thanks for their ultimate sacrifice.

· Lebanon is now at the forefront in the war on terror. It is a war that the Lebanese are all too well accustomed. It is not a war the Lebanese chose but one that has been thrust upon them by Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, rejectionist Palestinian groups and their proxies. It is a war for liberty for all mankind against those who practice brutality, intolerance and hatemongering. Into this war Tueni and Gemayel brought not their weaponry but their intellect and bravery. As the Lebanese national anthem so eloquently states; “our sword is our pen”. These men lived by this anthem and gave their lives for their belief in it. These are true patriots.

· As for the Lebanese citizens- they do not command large armies, are not in possession of advanced armaments and have no oil reserves. Their human qualities of hope, faith and love, however, far outweigh and are far more powerful than their lack of the former. These qualities were on vivid display on March 14, 2005 during the Cedars Revolution. These brave revolutionaries demonstrated to the world their love of liberty and freedom. As the great patriot James Otis stated “where Liberty is, there is my country.” Therefore, there is a kinship with all who live in liberty for whatever their nationality, there are strong and natural bonds. That is why Lebanese thrive in the free world.

· Unfortunately, there is no liberty in Lebanon. So, therefore, on March 14, the new day of hope for independence, the Lebanese, peacefully and with purpose, without wielding even the most simple weapon, made the pilgrimage to Beirut to express peacefully their disgust and outrage at what had become of their once proud nation. Through this act of bravery these otherwise ordinary citizens shook the leaders of the forces of darkness, in Dahiyeh, Ain el Helweh, Damascus and Tehran. These terror masters know that liberty, freedom and justice are their worst enemies and will, ultimately, result in their defeat. On that great day, March 14, 2005, they were trembling with fear in their hiding places knowing that their days are now numbered.

· To the forces of darkness we, the members of the Cedars Revolution and their brethren here in the great USA and the rest of the free world say, with determination and resolve, that we will be steadfast and undeterred in seeking justice for our fallen leaders who have given their lives in the cause of liberty, we will continue to struggle for the cause of peace and we will not back down until victory is ours.