I haven’t see a lot of coverage of this in the MSM. It’s too bad because President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf gave a beautiful speech. AllAfrica has the text.
Here’s a portion:
m deeply touched by the honor bestowed on my small but proud West African Republic of Liberia and on myself by inviting me to address this body of representatives of the people of the great United States of America. By this invitation, you have paid one of the greatest tributes there is to those who laid down their lives for my country to be free and democratic. I can only say a big thank you.
The people of Liberia and the people of the United States are bound together by history and by values. We share a deep and abiding belief in the power of freedom, of faith and of finding virtue in work for the common good.
The national motto of Liberia – founded, as you know, by freed American slaves – is “The Love of Liberty Brought us here.” We became the first independent Republic in Africa. Our capital, Monrovia, is named for your president James Monroe. Our flag is a star in a blue field and red and white stripes – its one star makes us the lone star state in Africa. Our constitution and our laws were based upon yours. The U.S. dollar was long our legal tender and still is used alongside the Liberian dollar today.
But our ties greatly exceed the historical connection. I stand before you today, as the first woman elected to lead an African nation, thanks to the grace of Almighty God; thanks to the courage of the Liberian people, who chose their future over fear; thanks to the people of west Africa and of Africa generally, who continued to give hope to my people. Thanks also to President Bush whose strong resolve and public condemnation and appropriate action forced a tyrant into exile and thanks to you – the members of this august body – who spurred the international effort that brought blessed peace to our nation…
…Honorable Members, we know that there is no quick fix for the reconstruction of our country, but Liberians, young and old, share their government’s commitments to work, to be honest, to unite, to reconcile and to rebuild. A nation so well endowed, so blessed by God with natural resources, should not be poor. We have rubber and timber and diamonds and gold and iron ore. Our fields are fertile. Our water supply is plentiful. Our sunshine is warm and welcoming.
With your prayers and with your help, we will demonstrate that democracy can work, even under the most challenging conditions. We will honor the suffering of our people, and Liberia will become a brilliant beacon, an example to Africa and the world of what the love of liberty can achieve. We will strive to be America’s success story in Africa, demonstrating the potential in the transformation from war to peace; demonstrating the will to join in the global fight against terrorism; demonstrating that democracy can prevail, demonstrating that prosperity can be achieved.
The people of Liberia have already rolled up their sleeves, despite overwhelming obstacles, confident that their work will be rewarded, confident in the hope and promise of the future.
The women of Liberia and the women of Africa, some in the market place and some in high level of Government have already shared their trust and their confidence in my ability to succeed, and ensure that the doors of competitive politics and professionalism will be opened even wider for them.
Honorable members, I will succeed. I will not betray their trust. I will make them proud – I will make you proud – of the difference which one woman with abiding faith in God can do.
God bless you.
Gateway Pundit has more.