HONORING LEBANON ON ITS 70TH INDEPENDENCE DAY
(Extensions of Remarks - November 15, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E1678-E1679]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




             HONORING LEBANON ON ITS 70TH INDEPENDENCE DAY

                                 ______
                                 

                         HON. RICHARD L. HANNA

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                       Friday, November 15, 2013

  Mr. HANNA. Mr. Speaker, one week from today, on November 22, 2013, 
the Lebanese people will come together to celebrate the 70th 
Independence Day of Lebanon. As a proud Lebanese-American, I extend my 
congratulations on this momentous occasion to President Sleiman, 
Caretaker Prime Minister Mikati, Speaker Berri, and all citizens of 
Lebanon and those around that world who proudly claim Lebanese 
heritage.
  For seventy years, Lebanon has exemplified its rich history of 
multiethnic heritage and cohesion through its ability to bring together 
populations that enjoy the freedom to show their diversity in areas 
such as their religious practices while remaining bound together 
through their love for a unified and sovereign Lebanese nation. The 
National Pact that set the foundation for the Lebanese state in 1943 
established a framework of independence, diversity, inclusion, and 
unity that have endured through these last seventy years as the 
keystones of a strong and lasting sovereign nation.
  The Lebanese people have not only contributed to outstanding and 
continuing achievements within Lebanon and the Middle East, but all 
around the world. Here in the United States of America, the early 
Lebanese Americans who arrived in the 19th century quickly established 
strong communities built on the foundation of strong work ethic, 
ingenuity, and cultural integration. Those characteristics continue to 
define today's generation of Lebanese Americans who make up the largest 
demographic of Arab Americans at 26.9 percent according to the U.S. 
Census Bureau's most recent American Community Survey. I am honored 
that many of these Lebanese-American families have chosen to call New 
York--and especially Upstate--home. I embrace all of the positive 
contributions that they continue to make every day in our society.
  Today, the role that Lebanon plays within the world and the Middle 
East is as important as ever, and it is of upmost importance that it 
endure as a beacon of hope and a truly independent ally and nation free 
from the instability, foreign influence, and war that have engulfed its 
Syrian neighbor. The strength of the people of Lebanon and their 
leaders has been demonstrated through their ability to remain resilient 
and united even in the midst of a regional crisis that has displaced 
814,002 Syrian refugees as of November 12, 2013, into more than 1,400 
Lebanese communities. It is imperative that the United States continue 
to support Lebanon as it grapples with these difficult times and 
maintains its strength through whatever may lie in the days and years 
ahead.
  Given all that Lebanon has been through these past 70 years, it is 
important that this

[[Page E1679]]

day of independence be celebrated for all that have called Lebanon home 
and those abroad who are proud to be defined by the Lebanese history 
and heritage that contributes to the character of both individuals and 
nations around the world.

                          ____________________