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President Uhuru Kenyatta's Speech During the Kenya Defence Forces Day Celebrations, Laikipia Airbase

President Uhuru Kenyatta's Speech During the Kenya Defence Forces Day Celebrations, Laikipia Airbase

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Published by State House Kenya
President Uhuru Kenyatta's Speech During the Kenya Defence Forces Day Celebrations, Laikipia Airbase
President Uhuru Kenyatta's Speech During the Kenya Defence Forces Day Celebrations, Laikipia Airbase

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Published by: State House Kenya on Oct 14, 2013
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10/17/2013

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SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY HON. UHURU KENYATTA, C.G.H., PRESIDENT ANDCOMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYADURING THE KENYA DEFENCE FORCES DAY CELEBRATIONS, LAIKIPIA AIRBASE, 14
TH
OCTOBER, 2013
The Leadership and Members of the Disciplined Forces,Ladies and Gentlemen,Greetings on this, the day that our Lord has made.I am happy to be here today, and to join the Kenya Defence Forces family incommemorating the second KDF Day. This is a solemn occasion to reflect and remember.But for purposes of honouring our heroes, every day of our lives must be a KDF Day in ourhearts.I want to state very clearly that I am proud to be your Commander-in-Chief. As Irepresent Kenya's national unity, I can state without any doubt, that our people's prideand confidence in our defence forces has never wavered. Without hesitation, the peopleof our Republic join you in honouring those among you whose lives were sacrificed indefence of this nation. We commemorate our fallen heroes in the knowledge thatalthough they are departed, their spirit lives with us, in each one of us. Wherever we are,our service must therefore maintain a standard that does justice to their memory andhonours their spirit.To do this, we must dedicate ourselves more completely and devote our work tomaintaining the integrity of our society. We must apply ourselves to the realisation of our common values. Sanctity of life, rights and dignity of all people, cohesion andsolidarity of our communities and the assurance of stability are components of thisintegrity. Peace and Unity, therefore are the cardinal objectives we have to secure tosustain Freedom. That is the meaning of independence, and the value of sovereignty.Sovereignty represents the opportunity for our State to secure a better life for everyonewithin our borders.I speak of these things because you are our Defence Forces, and also because youcontinue to be the role model universally admired by Kenyans. The calibre of yourservice, therefore sets the example by which our people evaluate excellence in all fieldsof human endeavour. Yet in all these things, we have never forgotten that first andforemost, you are soldiers under sacred mandate to defend our country with all yourhearts and with your lives. None of us forgets, even for a moment, that every time youare called upon to serve, the cup of ultimate sacrifice is never far from your lips. Becausewords can, and often fail the best communicators, we must call your vocation a NobleProfession, although, in actual fact, that is an understatement.You have proven to the world, time and again, what fine peace-keepers you are. Lately,however, you have shown the world what gallant warriors you are. If anyone thoughtthat the KDF is too nice to fight, they are welcome to quickly revise their mistakenopinion, if they already haven't. You are not a ragtag militia, which in truth is nothingmore than a gang of thugs and looters. You are a disciplined and highly professionalservice that engages robustly, but with utmost respect for human life and human rights.We will do everything we must to make Kenya peaceful, and we will take peace andsecurity to our neighbours if our peace and security is threatened. After all, you areOfficers and Gentlemen; sharing is caring. We care for our neighbours. In short, you have
 
amply made the point, and I think it is a worthwhile point, that it is possible to be niceguys and tough guys at the same time. And I congratulate you. Hongera.Ladies and Gentlemen,We all know from experience that the price of defending our values: unity, democracy,diversity and dynamism can be brutally exorbitant. It is difficult to imagine the state of the mind and soul which harbours nothing but resentment for these values; it is probablyone of the things that we, being who we are, will never understand all our lives. But weknow without the tiniest shadow of doubt that there are in this world those who want topunish us for embracing goodness and renouncing evil. Their stated intention is todestroy us and our values. Absurdly enough, hatred as a way of life, and a deadlycommitment to murder and destruction not only happen, but have their evil eye fixedupon us.In the modern world, terror and aggression use the same media that Commerce andKnowledge employ to expand and thrive. Globalisation and technology promise thepurveyors of death and destruction an even greater promise of success. Because terror isthe most insidious form of propaganda, the super-high-tech media we use today is oftenemployed to confuse and terrify. In the history of humankind, defending nations andprotecting societies has never been harder than it is today. The terrorist targets unarmedcivilians right at the heart of everyday life. The suicide bomber offers no opportunity toengage and possibly defeat. They tweet and mock, using media as one further weapon tohorrify. Modern sabotage has worms and viruses in addition to bombs. The enemy hatesothers and themselves so passionately and completely that they are committed to die forthe opportunity to harm.To defend our society, therefore, requires the most dedicated professionals, nimble of mind, noble of heart and invincible in spirit. It demands a set of skills and values thatrepresent our highest aspiration as human beings: courage, selflessness, readiness andproficiency. For us to have a chance at taking the enemy down, each officer in ourdisciplined forces must be a formidable module of skills and values, and the forces mustbe the most complete aggregation of all such officers. You see, we are always greaterthan the sum of our parts. As a nation, we must have the assurance that our machine isefficient and superior to our enemies, whoever they be.Do we have the right to expect this of any institution? The constitution says we do.Existential imperatives as a nation state that we do. The smiling faces of happy, innocentchildren, the love of family and community, the life of every individual citizen imperiouslysuggests that we do. Our desire for stability and prosperity, our very way of life aversthat we do. Do we, as a society, deserve to have this expectation realised? All thingsconsidered, yes we do. Is this expectation feasible and sustainable? The answer to thiscan get complicated at the best of times. But since I stand before one consistentexponent of our country's vital expectations, I have no doubt that it is.I am here witnessing with, and for all the people of Kenya that it is possible to be a highlyskilled and disciplined, professional of integrity. Not just one person out of a million; thiscountry can raise thousands of the finest people to accomplish whatever we desire. Thatis why I am confident that however subtly the enemy hides himself, however thoroughlyhe mutates, we will get him. You are the assurance we need to confidently say this.As I have told you before, our defence forces continue to represent our national values inaction. As national role models, you have demonstrated that the integrity of institutions

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