|The history of Ethiopia for the past half a century has revolved materially around events in |
which Haile Selassie First has been the prime mover. In times of stress, in times of joy, his
leadership in resolving the hopes, fears and aspirations of the Ethiopian people has been
distinctive, his guidance indispensable and decisive.
His people and the world have acclaimed him a fighter not only in defence of the integrity
of Ethiopia. He has been a champion for world peace and a man whose principles have
contributed manfully to the history of his day and age. His public utterances in this phase
of the national and international drama of peace and war speak by themselves most
|Unveiling Menelik's Statue|
Nov. 02, 1930
|Your Highness, Honourable Foreign Representatives, and Dignitaries:|
This day of the erection of a statue to Emperor Menelik II is a great and happy day for the entire
people of Ethiopia. The life of man is full of many sacrifices. However, after life, there is nothing
better one could leave behind, other than a worthy and memorable name for one's performances,
and the erection of this statue today proves that Emperor Menelik II has been blessed to get this
well-deserved reward for his efforts.
Although Emperor Menelik II was Emperor of Ethiopia by virtue of his long and traditional royal
lineage, all of you patriots and heroes are well aware of the fact that he was fortunate enough to
have successfully pursued what Emperor Tewodros and Emperor Yohannes started in the struggle
for the unification of all the provinces which were divided and balkanized as a result of the Battle of
Gragne during the period of his father Emperor Lebne Dengel.
In all his efforts, whit the blessing of God, his success in uniting Ethiopia has made his name
renowned all over the world. Besides consolidating the unity of Ethiopia, Emperor Menelik II also
established friendly relations with other governments, thus providing for Ethiopia favourable
international relations and assuring the orderly progress of her people.
Having been fortunate enough and blessed with a peaceful reign, farmers worked hard and
businessmen did their part well and consequently attained great prosperity.
Let history tell what achievements Emperor Menelik II made for his people and his country, for it
will be impossible for Us now to enumerate them all here. No matter how intelligent and brave, no
one on earth can escape death and Emperor Menelik II had to pass from this world on
December 13, 1913 after having worked as much as he could for the growth of Ethiopia and the
progress of his people.
Although this statue can in no way stand as a symbolic example for all the achievements Emperor
Menelik II made for Ethiopia, We are erecting this statue because as human beings, there is nothing
more We can do.
Many are the Emperors who, in the past, worked commendably for their country. However, we
know of no king, thus far, who has a statue erected in his name. It was Emperor Menelik II who
started and left behind for Us projects which brought Us closer to other countries and it is because
of this that We take it upon Ourselves to erect statues as symbolic tokens to Emperors who left
behind significant works and, to this effect, We can say that this statue stands to signify the great
works of Emperor Menelik II.
Moreover, the presence of so many dignitaries and representatives of foreign governments, who
are here for Our coronation and those representing governments that signed friendship treaties
with Emperor Menelik II, as well as those of others, to witness the inauguration of this statue and
share Our happiness, shows how great indeed he has been.
From now on, We will continue to erect statues, not only for kings, but also for all those patriots
who perform of have performed great works for their country, in memory of their name and their
|Haile Selassie the First - November 2, 1930|