Bachir Gemayel memory lives on 35 years after his death
BEIRUT: Politicians and celebrities Thursday honored former Presidentelect Bachir Gemayel, on the 35th anniversary of his assassination.
A Mass was held by Gemayel’s family Thursday evening at Bikfaya’s Mar Mikhael Church. A number of officials attended the Mass, including current and former ministers.
“The Father, the President, the Leader, the Hero, the Cause. We continue... #BachirGemayel #libanlibre #10452,” Gemayel’s son and current Ashrafieh MP Nadim Gemayel said in a post to social media.
The final hashtag refers to Gemayel’s presidential slogan in the 1982 elections, which was “10,452 sq. km” – a nod to Lebanon’s size and his plan to serve the entire country.
Kataeb chief and the nephew of Bachir Gemayel, MP Samy Gemayel, also paid tribute, tweeting: “Your dream is our project, a Lebanese project. #BachirGemayel #ThePresidentOfHope.”
Gemayel was a senior Kataeb party member and commander of the Lebanese Forces during the Civil War.
He was elected president on Aug. 23, 1982. But nine days before he was scheduled to be sworn into office on Sept. 23, Gemayel, other Kataeb Party members and innocent bystanders were killed when a bomb exploded at the party’s headquarters in Ashrafieh.
Gemayel’s brother, Amin, took over the role of president. Former President Amin Gemayel’s son, Pierre Gemayel, was killed in 2006, in a car bombing that targeted his vehicle after he left a Mass in Jdeideh.
“The realization of Bachir's dream of a strong state of 10,452 sq. km will remain our target,” Lebanese Forces affiliated Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Ghassan Hasbani said on Twitter.
Social Affairs Minister Pierre Bou Assi also honored Gemayel, tweeting: “President Bachir Gemayel will remain our watchman on the path of resistance. Your dream of a strong Lebanon, a Lebanon of 10,452 sq. km that is free and independent, will be the roadmap of our struggle.”
Meanwhile, pop singer Elissa tweeted: “Bachir ... a simple name that made us dream [of] a country we'd be proud of. The hero president, the hero martyr ... ”
Former President Michel Sleiman voiced his praise for Gemayel’s values as president-elect, saying, “On Sept. 14, Bachir Gemayel: The state is sovereignty. Greetings to Bachir and to everyone who [agrees] with the logic of the state, at the expense of the state.”
Prior to Gemayel’s election, he was accused of being close to Israel and being anti-Palestinian. Following his election, the former Lebanese Forces leader banned all members from wearing their uniforms in public, and demanded that the Lebanese Army be the sole defender of the state. –