Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, presided today over a Mass service in the “Church of Our Lady” in the Patriarchal edifice in Bkirki, on the occasion of the thirty-ninth anniversary of the martyrdom of President Bashir Gemayel, which was attended by resigned MP Nadim Gemayel and his family members, the Bashir Gemayel Academy team and a crowd of believers.
In his tribute word in memory of the Martyr President, the Patriarch said: “It is true that thirty-nine years have passed since his martyrdom, yet no one has come to fill the void of his great absence, which he created with a mandate that lasted only twenty-one days and before he assumed the presidency….This covenant was an example of a strong, savior, clean, all-inclusive and unifying rule that reflects his character. President Bashir was strong in the political sense, a comprehensive national savior, clean in his impartiality, stature and personality, and uniting through his transcendence over his partisanship, faction and sect, to become the president of all the Lebanese.”
He added: “The national rally around him was a special phenomenon, and a few hours after his election he became the leader of those who opposed him as well as the leader of those who loved him, and who abandoned their differences and supported him…He was a unifying president who rebuilt the State of Greater Lebanon, the State of Independent Lebanon, and the State of Resistance of Lebanon, absorbing all the Lebanese sensitivities…The people supported him mainly because of his spontaneity, sincerity, and his abandonment of narrow interests and quotas, for the people’s support remains more sincere than the support of the leaders.”
“President Bashir is an example and a role model for everyone who desires to rule, whether the president, the legislative authority, or the government. Bashir chose problem-solving over crisis management, alliances over compromise settlements, national alliances over sectarian alliance, and adherence to principles as the basis for action…He had the ability to overturn equations, not succumb to them. He was with the people at all times…and aimed to protect Lebanon from every aggression, liberate it from all affiliation to another country, liberate its decision, and preserve its democratic system and national partnership,” the Patriarch continued.
He stressed that the late Bashir Gemayel was not a revolutionist but rather a resistance fighter who believed in change through national heritage and human values. “Man, Lebanon, freedom, sovereignty, dignity, the state and the martyrs were the focus of his struggle,” al-Rahi emphasized, adding that “the limits of his resistance stood before the Parliament, the Presidential Palace, the Lebanese system and the National Charter, and the limits of his foreign relations stood at the borders of Lebanon’s supreme interest and at the doorstep of sovereignty and independence.”
“He only felt indebted to the fighters, martyrs, and people of good will,” al-Rahi underlined, considering that “if he had remained alive and completed his term of office, Lebanon would not have deteriorated since the late eighties.”
The Patriarch concluded by reminding the Lebanese today of the late President’s will, namely “to restore the state’s entity, unity, prestige and Lebanese identity…lest we go into the game of nations!”