Under the scorching heat of the raging wildfires, and facing the hellish madness up close, the bravest of men and women in Lebanon put their lives on the line these past days to ensure yours and mine are preserved. Firefighters, Lebanese Army soldiers, Civil Defense members, and civilian volunteers didn't have to risk their precious lives venturing into extreme danger, but they choose to do so because their heroism and compassion for their fellow humans transcend ordinary human values.
These men and women have risked their lives to save countless of our homes, acres of lands, and hundreds of people from the damaging and fatal effects of fire. They deserve to be acknowledged. We've been so taken by the unfurling drama that only few of us had their thoughts and prayers on those humans fighting a war of existence for us.
Most of us might not have seen them closely at work, fighting the infernal blaze, and how overworked they were for several days, relentless to save us and our forests. Fighting these fires was absolutely intense, utterly difficult, and an extremely dangerous work that took hours past the days.
Yet, conscientious and dedicated, these brave individuals defied immense walls of hellish fires, walked into burning houses to rescue those trapped by the fire, exposed themselves to toxic gases and burns, falling roofs, walls, and trees and, of course, the powerful force of fire itself!
While saving others and our land, their personal safety was on the line every minute of the days it took them to end the horror. These Lebanese firefighters and civil defense individuals are often the first to save people's lives, and they did indeed.
They were also the first to impart reassurance and consolation to the hurt people they saved. In the eyes of the victims, they were the personification of hope and relief. For us holding our breath in prayers, they were our only hope to save Lebanon for being all burnt to ashes.
They have shown us how strong of character they are, and also self-disciplined, incredibly courageous, and passionate for serving our nation and country. And they did so beyond human limits, fighting their own exhaustion.
We stand today looking in horror at the damages done by that merciless element of nature, and yet it could have been worse, as we all know it from similar wildfire cases in other countries. That's all thanks to the exemplary work of these individuals, fighting the fiercest enemy to humankind, while we and the whole world watched.
Brave, determined, effective, selfless, united, their hearts and thoughts on Lebanon and its people, they were the perfect example of what we all should be. In our opinion, they all deserve gold medals of honor in recognition of their boundless courage and devotion.
Our country wasn't certainly equipped to deal with such a massive unleash of wildfires, but we had them, these great fellow Lebanese men and women. We certainly had no functioning firefighting planes, but we had these exceptional people, their skills, and their sharpness in improvising their strategy on the ground against the fires.
Because of them, the worst was avoided. Lebanon is still standing, wounded and burnt in many places, yes, but standing, proudly alive, like a great knight out of a fierce battle, ready to live and take care of what is needed to rebuild.
And we owe that all to these brave men and women. These heroes of today's Lebanon. They have represented the essence of heroism in the face of a hellish disaster of immense scale. They didn't do what they did for fame nor in hope of a reward; they fought the blazing monster to save their country and their people.
Although we can never duly repay them for their bravery and devotion that saved us, the least we can do is to honor them and express the immense gratitude which we owe them. In these brave souls, we see children, siblings, and parents.
Duly so, we pay our tribute with our most heartfelt gratitude to these extraordinary Lebanese people who risked their lives to put an end to the misery of others and of nature itself.
We warmly thank the heroes of our firefighters and Civil Defense, salute our honorable Lebanese Army, bless Lebanon Red Cross teams, and acknowledge with gratitude every single volunteer for their humane endeavors. Lebanon has survived indeed, once again!
We will not conclude our tribute without acknowledging a fallen Lebanese hero; one who didn't make it, one who fought the blaze without previous training, and acted like any trained firefighter, sourcing his bravery from his fierce love for Lebanon, for his town, and for his family.
Our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Salim Abou Mjahed for his sacrifice. His memory shall live forever.
Today, Lebanon all stands in prayer for all the families, forests, and wildlife affected by the catastrophe. Blessed be Lebanon and its people. Now, it's time to heal the land and unite to rebuild, for we are all in this together.