Uncle Sam is 245 years of age. That’s nearly two centuries and half. Quite a long time as an independent country; isn’t it? But the issue that matters is not how long one exists. It’s how well. It is that “how well” that defines, or must define, one’s reasons for celebrating existence. Does the United States have reasons to celebrate its independence gained since 1776? And should the rest of the world, mainly Liberia, celebrate with them? The Analyst reports.
Plumes of fireworks, bellowing of carnivals and fairs were once again at their best in celebration as the United States of America on Saturday, 4 July, 2021, clocked 245 years since its independence from Great Britain. These celebratory features are some of the common sights in every state and city on this day.
The United States, also fondly called Uncle Sam, is widely loved and equally widely hated, depending on where you reside and what you read.
For those who espouse freedom, transparency and accountability; for those who hate tyranny corruption and political bully, Uncle Sam is adorable and admired. And for those who hate imperialism, economic and political conquest; for those who espouse a more exertive political order and so-say-one-so-say-hall governance system, the United States is a devil.
What is less argued by knowledgeable people is that the United States is a superpower and the most prosperous country in the world.
On Saturday, July 4, 2021, it commemorated the Declaration of Independence which it earned and gained in 1776. The Continental Congress had declared that year the 13 colonial colonies were free from British rule.
Since that time, 245 years ago, the fourth of July is marked with several public and private events which celebrate the country’s history and traditions.
It is expected however that this year, due to the prevailing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic which has killed 621,255 people and infected 34,588,176 till now, the celebrations will to be low-key.
But do the citizens of that country have to celebrate? Is there any good reason for that?
The government and people of that country will say a resounding yes, since Uncle Sam that been the quasi leader of world in nearly 100 consecutive years with its economy, army and sense of innovation supreme.
Any good citizen would be happy to celebrate the adversary of their country that plays a leadership role for scores of unbroken years and served as a pioneer of much of what modern man lives by and for his existence.
For instance, the United States has been a pioneer in the fields of technology and software innovation since the late 19th century.
It is home to some of the biggest corporations such as Microsoft, Apple, IBM, AT&T, Google etc. Social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all brainchildren of the United States. Others have been copycatting the leading world innovator for 100 years.
Its military and currency are mightier that every country on the globe gladly domesticate them one way or the other.
The United States is the only country in the world that has successfully sent astronauts to the moon. The Project Apollo, which was the country’s third spaceflight program conducted by Nasa from 1969-1972, saw six crewed landings. The first crew which landed on the moon in 1969 was Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.
Talking about music and entertainment? Don’t go there, for the US has also produced some of the finest musical artists including the likes of the ‘King of Pop’ Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Eminem, Linkin Park, Madonna, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey among others. Michael Jackson’s album Thriller, which was released in 1982, is one of the best-selling albums of all time.
When countries, including entire continents, are cascading stimulus packages for their peoples in times of COVID-19 in billions of dollars, Uncle Sam is putting out trillions.
The US offers itself, and is widely accepted, as the moral voice for the oppressed, standing as the biggest humanitarian the world over and as the arresting officer of debauched leaders and societies.
That’s why peoples of the free world are celebrating with Uncle Sam at 245.
Should Liberia Celebrate?
An honest survey will put the answer for a ratio to 9:1 between “yes’ and ‘no’, the paltry one being soiled in strayed political and religious orientations. But the bulk of Liberians, two of every 100 citizens, would be found celebrating with Uncle Sam.
Already, the leader of Liberia, like 23 others before him, have tendered Liberia’s good tidings to the United States on that country’s Independence Day celebration.
A Foreign Affairs Ministry release quotes President George Manneh Weah as congratulating the Government and people of the United States of America on the occasion commemorating their 245th Independence Anniversary.
According to the release, President Weah, on behalf of Liberia, extended heartfelt felicitations and best wishes to the Government and people of the United States as they celebrate this historic milestone.
“As you and the people of the United States commemorate another milestone in your national existence, we recall vividly the historic bond of friendship and cooperation subsisting between our two countries and peoples, which continue to be enhanced,” the Liberian leader asserted.
President George Manneh Weah indicated that his government would continue to engage positively with the United States in order to build on the existing bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
President Weah expressed the hope and prayer that that the Almighty God endow President Biden with abundant wisdom, good health and happiness as he steers the affairs of the United States.
That the United States of America the Liberia’s biggest benefactor is an understatement. It is credited for bringing into Liberia the first foreign direct investment, protecting Liberia during the past two world wars from foreign aggressions, building the country’s first airport and seaport, leading debt relief efforts for Liberia. Uncle Sam is an incomparable ally to Liberia.
The fact is, the umbilical cord tying Liberia-USA relations has remained intact since the 1820s when the United States conceived in its womb its first colonial child that would be named Liberia.
Perhaps afraid not be called a colonizer of anyone, the US set up the American Colonization Society (ACS) that engineered the formation of modern Liberia, with the government channeling funding and other support to transport the first set of ex-slaves and subsequent ones to what is now known today as Liberia in the 1820s.
The ACS explored opportunities and sought locations by which a group of ex-slaves were settled on these West African shores before independence was declared in 1847.
While it is true that the United States did not recognize Liberia’s independence formally until 1862 and full diplomatic relations was not consummated until1864, Uncle Sam has since been the biggest benefactor of Liberia, many times babysitting the country to keep it sovereign and stable.
Besides its first signature initiatives for Liberia that include the first airport and seaport, the United States is credited for undertaking other monumental projects for Liberia—projects that for decades have addressed the felt needs of the country, particularly social services infrastructure.
There is the John F. Kennedy Memorial which cater to the health needs of the people. In its heyday, the hospital was like a regional epicenter for health care delivery as it attracted some of the best medical minds in the sub-region and provided outstanding services to people far and near. Liberia then was a destination for medical tourism.
The USA pioneered its Peace Corps Volunteer initiative in Liberia, and that was another major undertaking that contributed immensely in the critical sectors of our economy like Health, Education and Agriculture. It provided trained manpower to these sectors.
Though Uncle Sam is blamed for not physically intervening in the Liberian civil crises, which people believe could have automatically, immediately stopped had the USA just growled at the key players to stop, its influence in bringing warlords to the peace table and preventing and taming other deadly plans by fighters is well noted.
In fact, the US role, others say, was in respect of Liberia’s territorial sovereignty, fearing an international backlash for bullying a sovereign nation into submission.
Despite that, the US and its organizations, including religious and civil society organizations, offloaded the largest humanitarian relief Liberians received and still receiving in the aftermath of the civil war.
At the end of it all, Uncle Sam still made its soldiers to set foot on Liberian soil as final arrangements for peace and stability hovered closely over the country.
Liberians know USA has never been indifferent to their needs, mainly in times of serious crises, as was seen during the Ebola pandemic and is seen during the current coronavirus pandemic.
Liberians regard the US as its second country, not just in terms of acquiring wealth but in terms of acquiring education and better living condition.
Some Africans complain that Liberians take themselves to be Americans; they speak like Americans, dress like Americans and sing like Americans, among other things.
Most Liberian parents see the United States as a destination of choice for habitation and education for their children.
Liberians have a huge community in US cities and states, with the remittances from those Liberians accounting for an appreciable size of the Liberian economy.
Certainly, Liberians are, and must be, celebrating with their American brothers and sisters on this 245th Anniversary of the World’s Superpower.
“Nothing can separate us from the United States,” said James T. Mantor, Jr., a university of Liberia student in a roving interview by our reporter.
“Liberia exists because there is an America, which gladly often comes to our aid in time of need. When Liberia was being butchered by British and French colonizers in favor of their colonies, taking away our land from left to right, it took the United States to stop it. In the wild world, Liberia stays afloat because the world sees us Uncle Sam’s nephew. On this day, I salute the great US, and may it continue to stand for us and all other needy peoples and countries.”