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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1721
AUTHOR: Haile Selassie (1892–1975)
QUOTATION: Soldiers! When it is announced that a respected and beloved leader has died for our freedom in the course of the battle, do not grieve, do not lose hope! Observe that anyone who dies for his country is a fortunate man, but death takes what it wants, indiscriminately, in peace-time as well as in war. It is better to die with freedom than without it.

Our fathers who have maintained our country in freedom for us have offered us their life in sacrifice; so let them be an example to you!

Soldier, trader, peasant, young and old, man and woman, be united! Defend your country by helping each other! According to ancient custom, the women will stand in defence of their country by giving encouragement to the soldier and by caring for the wounded. Although Italy is doing everything possible to disunite us, whether Christian or Muslim we will unitedly resist.

Our shelter and our shield is God. May our attackers’ new weapons not deflect you from your thoughts which are dedicated to your defence of Ethiopia’s freedom.

Your King who speaks to you today will at that time be in your midst, prepared to shed his blood for the liberty of Ethiopia.
ATTRIBUTION: HAILE SELASSIE I, emperor of Ethiopia, address to the Ethiopian Parliament, July 18, 1935.—“My Life and Ethiopia’s Progress,” 1892–1937, trans. Edward Ullendorff, p. 220 (1976).
SUBJECTS: Soldiers