Bachir Ge­mayel mem­ory lives on 35 years af­ter his death

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - LEBANON -

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. –

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