The chief celebration of Lebanon's Army Day on Friday (1 August) was a ceremony at the Military Academy at Fiyadiyeh, near Beirut, at which cadets who had graduated were presented with honourary swords.
GV PAN Cadets march past as band plays
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SV PAN President Suleiman Franjieh and Prime Minister Rashid Karami inspecting cadets
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GV PAN Ranks of cadets at attention
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Background: The chief celebration of Lebanon's Army Day on Friday (1 August) was a ceremony at the Military Academy at Fiyadiyeh, near Beirut, at which cadets who had graduated were presented with honourary swords.
The swords were handed to the new young officers by Lebanon's president, Suleiman Franjieh. The cadets who received the honour were those graduating with the rank of second lieutenant.
Also attending the ceremony were the Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, mr. Kamel AL Assas, the Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Mr. Rashid Karami, and other political leaders.
Addressing the new officers, the President told them "Today you are given Lebanon's sword. This sword is sharp and it strikes for right only, and in the name of all lebanese. It only strikes against the enemies of Lebanon, those who violate its territory and integrity".
Mr. Karami's recently formed government is currently facing the task of restoring security and confidence to Lebanon, especially to Beirut, where more than 3,000 people have been killed and injured in factional violence over the past four months.
The government appears to be succeeding, but armoured patrols still tour Beirut day and night. The situation remains volatile, and new fighting could erupt any day because of a simple quarrel, a kidnapping, or by mistake.