Messa’ al-kheir to Lokman’s family, friends, colleagues, and other supporters.This afternoon we gather once again to remember our departed friend and loved one, Lokman Slim. It is a sad occasion to mark the two-year anniversary of his assassination, but Lokman was not a sad person. He was full of hope for a better Lebanon for all Lebanese. He was also known for his perseverance, and fierce bravery in the face of violent threats.
Not all who depart this world leave such a legacy behind. It is no small thing, to have an idea or a commitment to a larger and more durable vision than one’s own. But Lokman’s legacy is evidenced here today, as we gather again in his name to renew our commitment to pursuing the very ideals that he died for.
Lokman was a fierce advocate of free speech, for democracy, for the right of people to exist in peace. He armed himself with education, with books, with research, free thought, moderation, openness, and a love for his beautiful homeland.
Those who assassinated Lokman Slim traffic in deceit, fear, and hate. Let us not give in to those brute tactics. Rather, let us continue to be led by the spirit of tolerance that brings us here today.
We stand with those who are motivated by inclusivity. We reject violent measures of exclusion that aim to intimidate the brave into hiding and silence. We also reject impunity for those who perpetrate such acts.
Today, we do not hide. We are not silent. On behalf of the U.S. Embassy, I join our many friends here in Lebanon in once again renewing our calls for justice. Today, we refuse to let fear and hate triumph. We gather in love and friendship, brought together by the memory of a man who embodied those very ideals. Today we honor Lokman Slim’s life, his work, and his legacy.
Thank you. Shoukran.