The history of modern Liberia would be incomplete when written without mentioning the names and roles of a few compatriots. Those are Liberians who took bullets, incurred bruises and lost sleep for the national cause. Their names stand out not just as symbolism of national identity and patriotism, but also as real time heroes and heroines. And the list of those compatriots would be incomplete without mentioning Charles Walker Brumskine, a renowned Liberian legal luminary and ace politician. Exactly a y ear ago, he succumbed to the cruel claws of death, leaving behind a void in the legal and political realm of the country that would be difficult of fill. His political followers, principally of the opposition Liberty Party and family members, are trooping to his Buchanan hometown to commemorate the day with appropriate rituals and reflections aimed at upholding his cherished legacy. With echoes of premature murmurings amongst partisans of the Liberty Party over the adoption of a new Constitution, it is said that there would also be strategic brainstorming to harness party unity, peace and harmony. The Analyst reports.
By this day, 12 months ago, Liberia stood still. The sad news first came as rumors, passed on social media and from ear to ear. By midday, the news was broken by stalwarts of the Liberty Party, who had followed intently the health conditions of their Political Leader and Standard-Bearer Emeritus, legal luminary Charles Walker Brumskine.
National Tears Provoked
As soon that the confirmed news spread like wildfire in the summer, the entire nation, represented by various leadership blocs, burst out in their dole sentiments and grief for the passing of the great Liberian lawyer and politician.
The shocked mourners were led by the President of the nation, Dr. George Manneh Weah, whose office released a statement acknowledging the “the sudden death of Liberian statesman and legal luminary Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine.
Dr. Weah was quoted in the release as describing the news of the passing of such a national asset as “paralyzing.”
“My wife, First Lady Marie Clar Weah, and I, on behalf of the Government and people of Liberia, wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to the Brumskine family, particularly Estelle, his wife, and three children, Charlene, Charles Jr. and Walker,” the Executive Mansion press release noted.
“Indeed, our Nation is broken. The cruel hands of death have taken away a fine Liberian patriot, a man of peace, who preached ‘Liberianism’ for far too long.”
The President said would remember Cllr. Brumskine as a principled politician whose tenacity and wisdom as a lawyer and humanitarian saved this nation from many odd events.
Vice President Taylor
Also the Vice President, Jewel Howard-Taylor, extended her deepest condolences to the Liberty Party, Brumskine family, Grand Bassa County and the people of Liberia for the passing of Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine.
She said: “Cllr. Brumskine was a legal luminary whose contributions to Liberia’s Justice system and political sphere will truly be missed. His death is not only a great loss for his family, partisans of the Liberty Party and the great people of Grand Bassa County, but for the entire Country.”
The ruling party, the Coalition for Democratic Change had some fond words for the fallen Liberian politician. The CDC said in a release that it “learnt with great shock and a profound sense of loss the death of Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, Founding Father of the Liberty Party, renowned legal scholar and a respected Statesman.
“The passing away of Cllr Brumskine is not only a major loss to his family and the institutions he once led, but to the entire country as a whole. He was a great inspiration to many in a unique way, and will be remembered as a distinguished Liberian Scholar and Politician who opened the eyes of thousands to believe in the cause he lived and fought to advance.”
The CDC noted that Cllr Brumskine “was an honest and peaceful man who will be missed for the many contributions he made toward the growth and development of our democracy.”
Then came the Liberian opposition community, headed by the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) which said it was “saddened by the passing of Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, Vision Bearer of the Liberty Party, after a period of illness in the United States of America.”
The CPP said its history would always record Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine as one of its architects who laid the foundation for evolving a political movement to jointly confront the unfolding political, economic and social challenges and frontiers of our Liberian body politics.
“Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine’s dream for stronger collaboration and cooperation amongst ALP, ANC, LP and UP will live on and will inspire us- Leaders and Partisans to hold together,” the CPP release noted, adding: “The Brumskine’s legacy, amongst others, was/is deeply reflected in his conviction of the utilization of the rule of law as a civil instrument for the maintenance of peace and stability.”
Despite the joint opposition statement, individual political parties voiced their sadness over the passing of their colleague.
Former ruling Unity Party asserted: “The Standard Bearer, National Chairman, members of the Executive Committee and partisans of the Unity Party are deeply saddened by the fallen of a great statesman, Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine. All of us in the Collaborating Political Parties wished Cllr. Brumskine recuperated to support the ideals we have all committed to. Then GOD thought otherwise.”
For the Alternative National Congress (ANC), it lamented that it was of extreme sadness expressing “deepest sympathy to the Brumskine Family, the Liberty Party and the nation, for the untimely death of Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, erudite lawyer, former Presidential Candidate and founder of the Liberty Party.”
The ANC said further: “Cllr. Brumskine, in his lifetime, exhibited immense courage in fighting for changing the lives of the Liberian people. He was a leader of his people, a father of many and an astute statesman. In reacting to the unfortunate news, the ANC’s Political Leader, Mr. Alexander B. Cummings described Cllr. Brumskine as ‘without doubt, one of our finest citizens whose patriotism and commitment to his country, both in politics and law will be remembered for generations to come’”.
The legendary jurist’s own party, the Liberty Party, however a target of the condolences that poured out from various groups and citizens, also reacted to the death of its political leader.
The head of the party, Senator Yongblee Karngar wrote poetically of Cllr Brumskine: “As Senator for Grand Bassa County and President Protemp of the Liberian Senate you have a long fearless and principled track record of public Service. You taught and mentored some of the best leaders of our time.
“You had real integrity, by doing the right thing knowing nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not. You were very peaceful. You respected the Rule of Law, and honor the constitution of our Country. A dedicated husband who always taught me a new way to love whenever you and Mrs. Brumskine were with me. A family man and father of many children. Our uncle, our brother, our son, our political leader and standard bearer our vision bearer and legal luminary. You have left a huge gap and our hearts bleed. But! You trained us to uphold the legacy and keep the torch burning. The Liberty Party will remain the most mature party and the party of integrity. We will work harder and get stronger and better, because you left us prepared for leadership.Rest In Peace, you fought a good fight and History will remember you.”
Commemorating the First Anniversary
As it is one year exactly today since the fall of the great Liberian statesman, the family and Liberty Party are observing the passing of their leader, not quietly.
“In commemoration of the death anniversary of Charles Walker Brumskine, founding father of Liberty Party, please be informed that following consultations between the PL and the Chairman, simultaneous activities to mark the day will be held at our National HQ and the Grand Bassa County office on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020 beginning at 9 am, said an official of the partry.”
The official said the team to be led by the National Chairman, would depart Monrovia in the early hours of Friday to join the Party Leader and team for a visit to the grave site of our fallen leader.
“Thereafter, the Chairman and team will return to Monrovia to join scores of partisans in continuation of the anniversary activities,” said the statement.
Already, the National Chairman of the Party, Stephen JH Zargo has released a posthumous tribute in commemoration of the day.
Senator Zargo wrote: “Twelve months today (November 20, 2020), the silent hand of mankind’s common enemy was laid on you. That was a day the Leadership and entire membership of the Liberty Party did not believe had come.
“Cllr. Brumskine, you came too far with us to leave us just this way and at this time. Many of your supporters across the country are still doubting your passing, and since this memorial date, they still cannot come to term with this sad reality. Collectively, we feel devastated, powerless and disappointed. Individually, we feel detached from the warmth that your presence always presented. And so, we cry, cry, and cry.”
He said as humans, emotions and disappointment filled us; but they cannot consume us, adding: “Your passing has created a huge gap not only within your own Liberty Party, but within the whole body politic of Liberia, the county that you loved so dearly and sacrificed so much for.”
The Lofa County Senator further said in the late Cllr. Brumskine’s passing, “the Liberty Party and Liberia have indeed lost a HERO of a man, a true champion of justice and liberty, a democrat, a true patriot, a legal luminary, a role model, a consensus builder, an astute political icon, a great teacher, a gentlemen and a family man.”
“Immediately when I retired from my professional law enforcement career where I served for about twenty years and entered the national politics of our country few years ago, I came across several individuals, but two distinguished personalities, both of the Liberty Party, touched my life so extraordinarily that I will never forget,” he acknowledged. “Unfortunately, the two of them have ended their journey with us. The first was late Hon. Eugene Fallah Kparkar who sadly passed on November 10, 2016 and now you, Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, whose passing has left within our party and country a vacuum so wide to fill. But we take solace in the exemplary life and lessons learnt from you.”
Senator Zargo: “While we continue to mourn your passing, I feel personally humbled and gratified by your deep sense of national integration. Under your visionary leadership, Liberty Party stretched forth its arm to the great people of Lofa County, recognizing the pivotal role this county plays in the political life of our country. Your leadership was keen on this matter, and worked with other stakeholders and partisans alike in ensuring that Lofa County would steer the direction of this great party at the National Chairmanship level. But this was not an isolated case. Upon your arrival from exile in 2003, the first place you visited outside of Montserado County was the Mai’mu Displaced people Camp in Bong County that hosted Lofans in particular. There, you delivered assorted materials including clothes and food items. The record also carries that you empowered displaced women on that camp with micro credit loan.
“Cllr. Brumskine, it is very hard for me today to be up here, hearing my own thoughts out loud, trying my best to focus on the happiest times spent together and we know you are still here with us, very strongly in spirit. CWB, you were such a strong person through and through, from character, personality and presence. You knew the national, regional, county and district leadership not only by names, but also by characters and phone numbers, and you were never too busy to answer their calls or call them up individually to say hello and ask how each person was doing. We are all here today because somewhere somehow, we have all been touched by the caring heart you had. We were all very lucky to have had you in our lives and as much as you will be missed by us all, you will remain with us all, every day, as long as we can remember.”
He lamented further: “Cllr. you held the Liberty Party stronger together throughout, even in the face of tempting challenging. You taught us to be peaceful, resilient, committed, party disciplined, law abiding, and above all, to have love for nation above self.”
“Let us work together to translate the vision of Cllr. Brumskine into reality placing premium on the four Rs of our party: We must reconcile our individual and collective differences; reform our strategies to earn ourselves the opportunity to lead; rebuild our confidence as a people towards self-sufficiency in governance, and Recover from the grief associated with the irreplaceable loss of our Vision Bearer.
“If we do this together, bolding hands of friendship in one accord, buttressing each other’s capacities, strengthening each other’s comparative advantages, we will be on the verge of success and our party and nation will be on the irreversible course of becoming a true success story,” he noted. “This can happen and this will happen because we are a people driven by the spirit of service and resilience.”
“Cllr. Brumskine, till we meet again, rest in Heavenly peace and be assured that we will not disappoint you.”
Another stalwart of the Liberty, National Youth Wing Chairman Onismus James, tendered a moving tribute to celebrate the death anniversary of Cllr Brumskine.
In the tribute titled, “No Grave, No Cemetery And Vault Can Hold Your Greatness,” James noted: “My dearest Dad is now in the hands of the eternal God. The cemetery is too small for your spirit, the grave is too narrow for your soul. No grave, no vault, no stone can hold your greatness.”
He wrote: “I commend your deals to all mankind, your services and sacrifices to all generations. I commend your legacy of love, courage and patriotism to ourselves, our children and children’s children. We thank God for giving you as our leader…you build an institution without millions, but on the foundation of integrity, peace and patriotism. You built the biggest and most powerful army in the history of our country with academic excellent, selflessness in service and diligent to duty.”
James continued: “You were a peaceful warrior….you taught us to fight hate with love, violence with nonviolence. Your cheerful smiles will keep giving us hope as we’re aware that there will be some stormy days in our lives without your presence, but we will soldier on to uphold your legacy. Again your life continues in us. Is never a goodbye!”