Notre Dame University-Louaize North Lebanon Campus (NDU-NLC), in collaboration with Shabab Loubnan, celebrated on Thursday, November 16, 2017, Independence Day at the NLC Amphitheater.
NLC Director Fr. Francois Akl delivered a speech, stressing the importance of Lebanese Flag Day, which proceeds Independence Day. He underscored the pressing need to forge common loyalty and belonging to the flag as well as to the homeland and noted that the Lebanese army is the guardian of Lebanon and he is the one and only who has no partner on the land of our homeland.
He compared the army’s ethos to the Maronite faith, saying, "The army is the nation’s protector, and our University’s religious order, metaphorically alluded to as the ‘Black Army,’ has embraced for more than three hundred years what the Lebanese Cedar tree represents as its maxim." Fr. Akl advised students to first achieve their personal independence, and second to refuse being anyone’s hands or mouthpiece; on the contrary, their weapons should be education and dialogue. He also thanked the commander of the Lebanese armed forces on behalf of all those present at the event.
Public Relations Office and Faculty of Business Administration and Economics (FBAE) Assistant Elsie Kfoury Girgis in her welcome address warmly greeted the audience and the Lebanese army in particular, and expounded on the military’s virtues, which include honor, sacrifice, and loyalty. Kfoury also thanked the participating University clubs and students.
The Lebanese army band, led by Lt. Elias Pasha, launched the event by playing the national anthem and national songs.
Attorney-at-Law Tony Abboud, representing the Youth Association of Lebanon, delivered a short speech, praising the Lebanon we all believe in and love. He commended the association, calling it a youth movement heralding a national vision against political and sectarian division and against drugs, noting that their participation in this celebration confirms that fact that it is the youth of Lebanon that build the nation. He noted that to commemorate the martyrs of the Battle of Al-Jaroud, trees would be planted in several areas across Lebanon, including on the NLC grounds.
Trophies and presents were distributed to all the troops and to Colonel Najib Nabout on behalf of the NLC clubs and Lt. Pasha also received a special NDU trophy. A large cake, offered by the NDU Student Union, bearing the image of the national flag was cut, and finally, a cedar tree was planted in front of the new building at the University amid hearty cheers.