In this book, each chapter shares General Merid Negussie stories and intimate thoughts as he attempts to analyze the challenges he faced as a soldier of his country and family man. Merid rose from humble beginnings. Both of his parents never learned to read or write. His childhood years and early youth were spent in a closely knit family, herding cattle, training horses, and helping his parents on the farm. At a young age, Merid had to leave his village to attend elementary and high school. In 1951, he enrolled at Imperial Bodyguard Academy and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. His passion, love, and dedication to his country brought him great success in the military.
Merid attended a highly-specialized Airborne and Commando Course. He then joined the army's Command and Staff College, where he was assigned as an instructor, then later, as administrator of the College. After being wounded fighting in a combat zone, he was awarded one of the highest military medals for valor demonstrated in the battlefield and promoted to the rank of rigadier General for effective military leadership and bravery. His long public
service and sacrifice was undoubtedly a testament to his national pride and devotion to his country and the people of Ethiopia.
As the civil war heightened and he became distressed by the suffering of families and the destruction caused, he advocated to end the war through peaceful bilateral discussions. Despite his successful leadership in the military, his personal ideology to solve the unceasing civil war with peace talks was not accepted by military-led government of dictator Colonel Mengistu Hailemariam and his administration. Merid gathered reputable Eritrean elders to initiate negotiations with the rebel group to resolve the security situation in the region. The effort was thwarted by leaders of the military government, who believed that the Eritrean war could only be resolved by military means.
As his concerns and that of other like-minded military leaders were ignored and their suggestions to ameliorate the situation went unheeded, the rift between Mengistu and his cohorts and reform-minded military leaders widened. Seeing no avenue to address differences amiably, General Merid and other leaders in different services of the armed forces started planning the removal of the military dictatorship. The responsibility of leading this
undertaking fell on Merid, a proven leader who would never shy away from a seemingly insurmountable challenge. The 1989 coup d'etat failed to accomplish the formation of a transitional arrangement to democratic governance. In this historic moment, he wrapped himself in the flag of the country he loved and brought an end to a life lived in the service of the people of Ethiopia.
This book narrates one of the greatest stories in Ethiopian military history, while also showing the honest development of a family man. Included are intimate handwritten notes to his children discussing their education and life goals, encouraging transparency and honesty between parent and child, and emphasizing their duty to love and respect their country and its people.
This book chronicles a distinguished man's life as a soldier, leader, and father. It is an inspiring and captivating tale of citizenship, responsibility, courage, and love.