May 5th Great Ethiopian Anniversary

Excerpt from H.I.M. Haile Selassie I speech on entering Addis Ababa on May 5, 1941:

“No words of thanks spoken by human tongue are sufficient for that the good God has vouchsafed me this day to be in your midst, a thing that could be known or conceived neither by the angels of heaven nor by the hosts of earth. What I want to tell you all and to convey to you before everything, is that this day is the opening of a new era of history for a new Ethiopia: and in this new era there will begin a new task which it will be for all of us to perform. . . .

People of my country Ethiopia,

This is a day when Ethiopia, stretching forth her hands to God in Jubilation, presents her thanks and declares her joy to her children. This is the day in which the children of Ethiopia are liberated fro the grievous yoke of the foreigner and from eternal slavery; it is the day when we are vouchsafed to be reunited, after a full five years of separation, with our beloved and longed-for people; therefore this day is honored and sanctified, and one on which there shall be held every year a great Ethiopian holiday. On this day we shall call to mind our heroes who shed their blood and shattered their bones in sacrifice, refusing to betray the strict trust passed on to them from their fathers – the freedom of the country they loved, and the honour of their Emperor and their flag. The history of Ethiopia shall be a witness for these our heroes.

If we are to learn from the sufferings and agonies we have experienced in the past five years – endless to relate and to reckon in detail – the principle lesson to be drawn is that you should have inscribed in your hearts industry, unity, fellowship and love, that you may be helpers in our plans for Ethiopia. Hencefoth in the new Ethiopia we want you to be a people undivided, who have freedom and equality before the law.

Now I end by telling you, my people, that today is a day of rejoicing for us all. Today is the day on which we have forged victory over our enemy. . . “

The following is comment of the words of H.I.M.

Not only was this a great day for Ethiopia, it was a great day for Africa and the world. Had not Ethiopia succeeded in becoming the first country to liberate itself in World War II, perhaps the world as we know it today would not exist. Certainly Ethiopia’s victory paved the way for all the other African peoples who were under the yoke of European colonialism to gain their freedom. Thus, today’s African Union owes their very existence to the victory gained by H.I.M. Haile Selassie I on this “honored and sanctified day.”

In the “new ear of history for a new Ethiopia” Haile Selassie I became the architect not only for Ethiopia, but for all of Africa. In terms of today’s African constitutions and development programs, all are indebted to Haile Selassie I for laying the groundwork. Had Haile Selassie I not marched victoriously into Addis Ababa sixty-two years ago on May 5th, there would be no Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), which was inaugurated in Addis Ababa in 1958 and whose headquarters in Africa Hall were established in Addis Ababa in 1961; there would be no African Union, whose predecessor, the OAU was initiated when H.I.M Haile Selassie’s Ethiopian Government, at the 16th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, called for the creation under Article 52 of the UN Charter, of an Organization of African States, which became a reality on May 25, 1963 with the founding of the OAU in Addis Ababa.

Today, the Heads of State in Africa have put together a “New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)”. Yet there is nothing new in it. Every one of its worthy fundamentals was set out by H.I.M. Haile Selassie I more than thirty years ago``