The President of Liberia, George Weah has performed the symbolic ceremony of planting the cotton tree on the historic Providence Island to officially kick off the country’s Bicentennial 2022 events.
It is believed that it was under the Cotton tree on Providence Island that free Black men, women, and children from the United States settled upon arrival, “The Land of Return”.
President Weah was joined at the event by the Ambassador of the United States of America to Liberia, His Excellency, Michael McCarthy, Head of the National Traditional Council of Liberia, Zanzan Karwor, Archbishop Isaac Winker and other dignitaries.
Speaking, the President said by planting the seedlings on the official commencement of the 2022 Bicentennial, Liberians are reinforcing the common heritage that unites them, as descendants of the indigenous people and the descendants of the settlers
According to him, the model for genuine national unity and reconciliation should be inspired and founded on positive cultural values, citizenship building, good governance, economic empowerment, and the rule of law.
“As we commemorate our National Bicentennial, let us recollect memories of all of our ancestors — their various ways of life, their respective histories and cultures, and the way they co-existed with each other as long-lost brothers and sisters returned to the Land to form a unique and united country,” President Weah asserted.
On his part, the Ambassador of the United States of America to Liberia, His Excellency, Michael McCarthy harped on the need for a enduring bilateral relations to foster mutual growth and development.
“Anniversaries create opportunities for reflection and renewal. Today, we acknowledge the oppressive conditions that led Black Americans in the 19th century to seek a new beginning in West Africa.
“We must live with this history and learn from it. So, we use this moment to recommit to an inclusive and representative democracy. One, that by its nature, is a constant work in progress.
“We hope all Liberians, as our longtime friends, join us in this commitment to always work toward a society that benefits all.
“Together, we have a lot to be proud of. And we have a lot to look forward to as we prepare the next generations for their turn to lead our great countries,” the Ambassador concluded.