Greater Lebanon 1920
On September 1st, 1920, General Gouraud, High Commissioner of the French Republic and Commander in Chief of the French Levantine Army (1919 – 1923) proclaimed the independence of Greater Lebanon.
For the next twenty-three years, it would continue to be celebrated on September 1st, until 1943 when it was changed to November 22nd.
“…I solemnly proclaim the state of Greater Lebanon and in the name of the French Republic; I recognise its sovereignty and extent from the El Kebir River to the borders of Palestine and the summits of the Anti-Lebanon mountains.”
General Henri Gouraud, French High Commissioner, September 1st, 1920.
“…The first of September is upon us. Gentlemen, I ask you to carefully consider this important date for it is the day when independence was granted to Greater Lebanon, the most momentous event in our history. …It is now up to us to love and serve our country. Mind you, we must never forget that we are also tasked with being the architects of its future.”
M.C., from an address given on June 5th, 1921, (during an alumni dinner at St. Joseph University) .