Let us, Haitian students, make our teachers proud!
Orginally written on May 18, 2012
By Rev. Duval Denis
Today, May 18, 2012, we celebrate the Haitian Flag Day in remembrance of May 18, 1803, the day of the creation of the first Haitian Flag. The flag consists of two horizontal bars, blue over red. The blue represents the black Haitians and the red the mulattoes. The trophy of weapons indicates the blacks and the mulattoes are ready to defend freedom. The motto on the white scroll reading “L’union fait la Force,” means through unity we found strength or in unity we are strong. May 18th, the observance of Haitian Flag Day has become a symbol of pride, unity and individual liberty. As we, Haitians, commemorate Haitian Flag day in the diaspora community, let us remember our ancestors, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Henri Christophe, Alexandre Petion, that have created this bi-color blue and red to fight the colonialism and to make us live free forever! Let us also remember the Haitians in the motherland who have lost so much in the earthquake of January 12, 2010 and continue to work hard and harder to rebuild the country! Let us, Haitian students, make our teachers proud! Let the flag inspire us to work harder, to follow rules, and obey our teachers! Haitian students used to be among the best students a teacher might have in a classroom. They used to be friendly, polite, respectful, studious, well-dressed, and moderate in style. The teachers used to admire them. Did we lose our values? Did we lose our identity? Haitian students, let us go back to our roots, let us make again our teachers proud! Our ancestors were willing to die for the flag and for our country. Are we willing to value their sacrifice by the way we conduct ourselves? Are we willing to make our teachers proud again of us! Let us reflect on the last stanza of the National Anthem of Haiti, La Dessalinienne (The Song of Dessalines), honoring Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the founding father of our nation. This anthem was written by Justin Lherisson and composed by Nicolas Jeffrard:
Pour le Drapeau, pour la Patrie (For the Flag, for our Country)
Mourir est beau, mourir est beau! (To die is a fine thing, to die is a fine thing)
Notre passé nous crie: ( Our past cries out to us)
Ayez l’ame aguerrie! (Have disciplined soul!)
Mourir est beau, mourir est beau (To die is a fine thing, to die is a fine thing)
Pour le Drapeau, pour la Patrie ( For the Flag, for our Country)
Mourir, mourir, mourir est beau (To die, to die, to die is a fine thing)
Pour le Drapeau, pour la Patrie. (For the flag, for the Country.)
Let us, Haitian students, make our teachers proud! Let us have disciplined souls!
Before I conclude, let me give you a short testimony of my success! When I came to the United States of America in 1971, I was 28 years old. I had neither father nor mother, neither brother nor sister, neither uncle nor aunt in the United States. I had no one to advise me. I was able to work during the day and go to school during the night. During a period of 6 years I was able to complete 4 years college and graduate with a Bachelor Degree in Graphic Arts. For 34 years I am married. I have 4 adult sons. All four attended Westbury School District. All of them finished college. They are all working now. One is working as School Financial Director, another as Hospital Administrator, another as Computer Programmer, and another as Sales Manager. Presently, I am retired as a print production person, but I continue to serve the Community of Westbury as substitute teacher and pastor of Eben-Ezer Haitian Baptist Church of Westbury. At the First Annual Board of Director’s Leadership Award Dinner of Unified New Cassel Community Revitalization Corporation (UNCCRC) held at Verdi’s of Westbury on December 7, 2010, I have received five citations for dedication, support and inspiration for the New Cassel Community and commitment to make a difference in the lives of Westbury and Nassau County from the following dignitaries: Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano, Nassau County Legislator Robert Troiano, Town of North Hempstead Councilwoman Viviana L. Russell, Member of Assembly Charles Levine, and UNCCRC Board Member Lilian Shelton .
Everyone of us can succeed, if he/she has a vision and works hard and harder to make the vision or the dream a reality. Let us, Haitian students and all other students present, make our teachers proud! On Haitian Flag Day, administrators, teachers, students of Westbury School District, let us all be proud of our accomplishments! May God bless us all! May God bless Haiti!