The following is Lebanese Army Commander General Joseph Aoun’s Order of the Day marking Lebanon’s 79th Independence Day:
As the 79th Independence Day is upon us, our country is going through exceptional circumstances that require awareness, wisdom, and responsibility from everyone, both officials and citizens, as well as cooperation for the higher national interest while we wait for the rectification of the political situation and the restoration of institutional organization. Independence is the fruit of the honorable struggles of the Lebanese, and the fateful challenges they faced and overcame with their unity and determination to build a nation on solid foundations, a nation we must preserve and protect.
The completion of the maritime delimitation file represents a glimmer of hope for our country, and an important step towards its recovery from its current crisis by investing an essential part of its natural wealth. This achievement requires state institutions to protect and keep pace with it, for the interest of the nation and the Lebanese. In the meantime, as Lebanon enters the phase of presidential vacancy and faces increased political tensions, maintaining security and stability remains our highest priority. We shall not allow any breach of civil peace or destabilization of the situation for any purposes. Our mission has been and will remain to preserve Lebanon, its people, and its land.
You keep proving day after day that you are a rare example among the armies of the world. Rarely had an army faced such challenges within a few years and remained at the highest levels of readiness, discipline, dedication, and commitment. You courageously and silently faced all the campaigns of deceit despite the economic and living conditions you are going through, and professionally dealt with all the events and incidents our country has witnessed. With your oath and vigilance, you have protected Lebanon and will continue to do so till the last drop of blood in your veins. All that in parallel with your primary mission to confront the Israeli enemy and its greed on one hand, and terrorism and its subversive maneuvers on the other. With your sights set on the border as on the inside, you continue to implement your missions in the south, in cooperation and coordination with the UNIFIL, to maintain its stability.
Armies are built for tough times. Lebanon’s power and unity are derived from your strength. Know that the confidence of the Lebanese and the international community in you is telling proof of the importance of your role. Therefore, do not weaken in the face of dangers, and do not be intimidated by campaigns of victimization and false accusations. On the anniversary of our nation’s independence, we renew our commitment to protect and defend our oath. This country has endured many challenges and wars throughout its history and has always risen above them due to all its people’s refusal to surrender, and its army’s commitment to the values of honor, sacrifice and loyalty.”