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Location: Birmingham, MI, United States

Councilman John Akouri, former Washington, DC Press Secretary & Capitol Hill Advisor, is President & CEO of the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Statement by Councilman John Akouri on the Death of Pope John Paul II

(HAMTRAMCK, MI)...Farmington Hills City Councilman John Akouri, a practicing Catholic who, as a free-lance photojournalist covered the Pontiff’s 1987 visit to Michigan, offered the following statement upon hearing of the death of Pope John Paul II:
Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan were two incredible dynamos of the 1980’s and through their life’s work, inspired me along with countless others to the call of public service during those impressionable years. As the world mourns this week, we remember that this universally beloved Pontiff’s life serves as an inspiration to all mankind and his death is an unspeakable loss to earthly humanity. He was a faithful shepherd who tirelessly tended to his flock, even in the end throughout all of his public suffering. His accomplishments are numerous – not the least of which is bringing the Vatican into the 21st Century through his savvy means of communication, his extraordinary attention to the youth of the Catholic Church, his helm as the driving force that hastened the demise of Communism, the unprecedented number of Saints canonized throughout his reign, and his global travels to bring the message of Jesus Christ to the masses – in their own lands.
As a free-lance photojournalist, I covered the Papal visit to Detroit in 1987. I will never forget the euphoric feeling of those present when his motorcade drove down Joseph Campau, his speech to the Polish town of Hamtramck, or the Mass of the Eucharist celebrated before 100,000 worshipers at the Pontiac Silverdome. He was a master at public relations and when you left any of those venues, you sensed as though the Pope looked directly at your eyes as if he knew you personally. I have every bit of memorabilia still with me from that day including all of the original photographs, which I cherish immensely. As we pause globally this week to grieve John Paul II The Great, let us also celebrate his love for the sanctity of life, acts of forgiveness and devotion to prayer. It is only fitting to honor a man whose name will be inextricably linked to the history and ecumenical progress of the last century.
Eternal rest, grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and all the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

JOHN AKOURI ONLINE NEWSROOM 'We will confront this mortal danger to all humanity. We will not tire, or rest, until the war on terror is won.' -- PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH Add to end of above"line without paranthesis when wanting to loop sound (( loop="-1">