General John P. Abizaid (Ret.) Keynote
Lebanese American Heritage Ball October 22, 2011
One of the highlights of the 6th annual Lebanese American Heritage Ball hosted by The Northern Ohio Lebanese American Association (NOLAA) was the keynote address given by Lebanese American General John P. Abizaid (Ret.)
General John P. Abizaid
According to Wikipedia, John Philip Abizaid is a retired General in the United States Army and former Commander of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), overseeing American military operations in a 27-country region, from the Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, to South and Central Asia, covering much of the Middle East. CENTCOM oversees 250,000 US troops.
Abizaid succeeded General Tommy Franks as Commander, USCENTCOM, on 7 July 2003, and was also elevated to the rank of four-star general the same week. He was succeeded by Admiral William J. Fallon on 16 March 2007.
General Abizaid retired from the military on 1 May 2007 after 34 years of service. As of 2007, Abizaid is employed as a fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. General Abizaid assumed the Distinguished Chair of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point in December 2007. Abizaid was appointed to the board of directors of RPM International on 24 January 2008, and also sits on the board of directors of the Defense Ventures Group.In 2008 he was selected as a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College.
US Army Captain Jose Rivera introduced General John P. Abizaid as the keynote speaker of the Lebanese American Heritage Ball.
US Army Captain Jose Rivera
After thanking people, General Abizaid began his keynote address with some thoughts on what it means to be Lebanese.
US Army General John P. Abizaid
He learned that the genius of the Lebanese people is their Family and Faith.
General Abizaid was very clear in his conviction that "We cannot abandon the Middle East."
Many awards and proclamations were given to the General after his inspiring speech.
Pierre Bejjani and General John Abizaid
Among the proclamations from civic leaders was a presentation by District 17 Ohio State Representative Marlene Anielski.
Representative Marlene Anielski and General Abizaid
A special NOLAA award was crafted for the General.
Pierre Bejjani describes the special Cedar Tree NOLAA award
The General was grateful for the award and the crowd was grateful for his inspiring keynote address and presence at the event.