President Michel Martelly, participated today May 18 in the town of Arcahaie [about thirty miles north of the capital] to the celebration devoted to the Haitian flag and the University. A ceremony filled with emotion and patriotism, in which the President made an impassioned speech to the nation, we offer you to share the highlights :
"People of Arcahaie, Haitian people,
The duty of memory, which today leads my steps to Arcahaie, this landmark in our history, just four days after I became President of the Republic, is for me, is for all those which today bears the name of Haitian, pilgrimage and reflection.
Pilgrimage surely, because lively and fresh, still remain for us today, descendant of slaves, the scars imposed by the greed, racism and the folly of men. Scars in our souls, scars forever.
Before going to the Palace, after my swearing in, I had the chance to visit the Musée du Panthéon National Haïtien (MUPANAH) where I had the chance to admire the history of our flag, from its creation until today through the various changes that have marked its history, its color changes, the positioning of its colors [...] but always the symbol of our history, of our freedom, symbol of our pride but the most importantly, the union of all its son. It is this union that we have lost and that we propose to recover. Let us stop our old quarrels unjustified, all together we will rebuild our country destroyed and devastated, let us swear that we will be together under the same flag, that flag created by our ancestors, to regain our sovereignty and let us swear that we will rebuild our Nation. Let us swear to give the priority to Haiti before our personal interests, let us swear that Haiti will be again the Pearl of the Antilles and will be the pride of all these sons.
Let us recall of our ancestors, let us join to the proud men of our Haiti, let us recall of our ancestors... let us recall... let us recall of 1803... let us recall of the blood flowing in our veins, the blood of who ? The blood of our ancestors, the blood of our Great Father who stood up Tet Kalé to say it enough ! The blood of our Great Father who stood up Tet Kalé to write : Liberty or Death (Liberté ou la Mort) [...] to sing "Grenadier à l'assaut!" Our dignity is priceless, Republic of Haiti. One people, one flag [...] we not live in shame. Republic of Haiti of all time, together, they are placed in the courtyard of Arcahaie, so that in every town, every village, the Indigenous flag is planted, so that the blue and red flag fleet Republic of Haiti. The flag that has made us become people, the flag that has made that the name of the Haitian people, remains for always associated with the restoration of the pride of the black man and the reappropriation of its human dignity. Honour to you, Founding Father of the Fatherland. Dessalines honor to you. Honor for you Petion [...] Respect for you Catherine Flon, respect for you all, dear countrymen.
Even today in Arcahaie, together 208 years after this gesture, other conquests await us, other struggles call us as inaction, ignorance, disease, hunger, unemployment [. ..] we are determined to stop begging our bread, to live on handouts and not even be able to fulfill our obligations. We are determined to ensure the well being of our people, to provide adequate education and ensuring our own security. It is to change this situation, now that we preach the unity of all our son. The people of Haiti must get back to the work and my team the First. I await Parliament's approval soon for the selection of the Prime Minister that I will designate officially before the end of this week and the approval of the government policy to float our flag, the blue and red flag to the revived color and launch without delay, the four axes of my Government, what we call the four "E" (in french), namely the Education for All, Employment, the State law, the Environment to safeguard our natural environment and ensure our survival.
University youth, it is also for you today, that I pay tribute in this day of the feast of the University. You are the salt of this earth, the future of the Nation [...] which will be under my presidency, protected, encouraged and cherished. You are the elite of this country and at this title, responsible, by beginning with a civil attitude, respectful of your teachers and yourself; and a civic attitude by filling out your duties as citizens by requiring the respect of your rights. You must be examples for the younger and the hope of this country. To those who dream of the University, but the system has left out, I promise a new era. Things will change, by beginning with you, by beginning by give you justice that deserves your years of schooling.
I agree [...] without delay, that each department is provided with at least one technical-vocational school at the end of my term. It is a commitment that I take. At this account only, we can expect a country that recovers, a country that is built.
Population of the Arcahaie rightly proud, I wish you a happy birthday. Peasants of the Arcahaie, you know your force in the country, I promise you, that under my presidency, you will find assistance to help you get back to farming, get ready to start planting, the decentralization will begin to arrive in the courtyard of Arcahaie.
Haitian people, this May 18, perhaps a single May 18, together sincerely, let us put our flag in first place, let us unite around our bicolor for a revitalized Haiti, a Haiti proud, a Haiti noble.
Vive our ancestors, Vive Haiti, Vive the Haitian people Tet Kalé.
Today, through the speeches of officials, including the mayor, the deputy, and even through the speech of the rector of the university, I realized that the needs of Arcahaie are topics on which I am campaigning. The three they mentioned are: education, health and vocational school [...] I take this opportunity to say you that today is a day to understand, that it is in the gathering that we can save this country, I invite the population to join us, I say with us because, I am not an individualist [...] I ask all those who did not vote for me and which await that I do not succeed, I ask them not to ask the good Lord that I do not succeed, because my failure is your failure, your failure is the failure of Haiti, the failure of Haiti is the failure of the flag.
If we put ourselves under of this flag to divide us, It is better to not go under it. The flag represents 14 million Haitians who live here 10 million, 4 million in the diaspora, let us wear our flag, together we will wear our flag, let us gather to lead Haiti where we want to bring it. It is the victory of the people, the people this is the flag, go Tet Kalé."
Listen the entirety of the speech of Michel Martelly :