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

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Where Were You When Cheikh Bachir Was Assassinated?

(Editors Note: The following is a touching commentary originally posted by antony10452 on the Bachir Gemayel Forum)

"I would like to share the story of a Lebanese child who lives far from home now. This child is now 30 years now, but he's still living in the past, his life stopped on the 14th day of September in the year 1982 of our lord.

That child had the privilege to live in the free area of east Beirut, where the future of Lebanon was going to be drawn by El Cheikh Bachir El Gemayel. Before 1982 his mom used to walk him to the school next door. He saw Bachir many times, driving his car with no body guards, waving to the people. Bachir was one of them. He was a down to earth exemplary leader who believed in Lebanon and believed in all the Lebanese.

This Child still remembers the glorious days of victories that Bachir accomplished for Lebanon. He still remember until now when Bachir presented his candidacy to become president, and he said : " Tarshi7eh mannoo lal mounawara" He didn't understand it back than, but he still remembers it.

This child also still remembers August the 23rd 1982, when Bachir was elected president, he remembers the joy and the relief in his parent's eyes, and he remembers all the fireworks and all the celebrations, and all the circles of Dabkeh. He remembers that peace was around the doors. He remembers that Lebanon almost reached the unreachable in only 23 days.

And the 14th of September came.

Since that Lebanese child lived in Antelias, he heard with his two older brothers that Bachir is going to be in Dayr el Salib in BKaneya. The two older brother decided to walk there to see Bachir, so he insisted on going with them, they refused, he cried, and he insulted them (he said very big words), they slapped him, but he insisted, so they had no choice but to take him with them, they also loved Bachir.

It was a sunny day, they got to the main gate, there was a police officer there (Darak) That child still remembers his face until now. They tried to get in pretending there was nobody there; the officer asked them where are you kids going?? The younger child innocently replied we are going to see Bachir, the officer said: go back home kids, Bachir just left to Achrafieh.

Disappointed, they left, with tears in their eyes, not knowing why. They went down to Antelias to the beach next to the Golden Beach, they were playing and they saw a Helicopter flying by very low and it had a white blanket in it with something wrapped by the blanket, they didn't know what was going on, but for some reason, they still remember it until know.

The next morning that child saw his father crying for the first time, he walked up and asked his mother what's going on, she told him: "Bachir mett", so he started crying. And he's still crying until today.

Later on the Child left Lebanon in 1992 with his family. They immigrated to Canada, and he became a very successful business man, but he still calls himself a child, because he believes that history stopped in 1982.

This child is addicted to Bachir's speeches, he listens to them everyday, and Bachir is his school. Bachir is a school. He believes that Bachir is behind his success in his business. When he tries to compare other martyrs in Lebanon to Bachir, no other death hurt Lebanon as much as Bachir's Death. When Bachir was elected this child remembers that the Syrian troops started withdrawing from Lebanon. But they stopped and stayed for 23 more years after his death.

This Child now is very sad, because he sees Lebanon as the "Farm" that Bachir warned us from. This Child will never forget 1982. The clock stopped on September the 14th 1982.

This child doesn't know if Bachir is coming back, or if someone else close to Bachir's ambition can exist. He doesn't know... he doesn't know... he doesn't know...."

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">