On this historic anniversary of the federation of Eritrea with the motherland the words you have all uttered are a source of great happiness.
Happiness so signifies different things to different people. There is happiness that is of a momentary nature and happiness that lives for ever. The federation of Eritrea with the motherland resuscitates in Us a happiness that is not evanescent but everlasting.
Even if an artificial boundary separated Ethiopia and Eritrea in the days of yore the wishes and desires of the Eritrean people were never at variance but in concord with the wishes and desires of the whole people of the motherland.
From the time that We were called upon to guide the destiny of Ethiopia, it has been Our wish and desire that Eritreans of their own free will share the same opportunities offered to their Ethiopian brothers, and it is a matter of deep gratification to Us to witness that Our wish has been fulfilled. Those who have been ceaselessly struggling to preserve the life and not bring about the death of Ethiopia and those who have never fallen dupes to the separationist propaganda of alien rule, have always been in the forefront ready to sacrifice their blood for the freedom and unity of their country.
During the invasion when death was hovering over Us, We always remember the worthy Eritreans who fought for their freedom and those who fell on the battlefield for the love of their homeland.
When the artificial boundary was at long last made nonexistent and Eritrea was federated with Ethiopia, the Eritreans, who had never relented from fighting for its freedom in the hours of its trial, have never ceased to express their love of country and devotion to the motherland.
Both Christians and Moslems in Eritrea, without any religious antagonism, have lived side by side in harmony with faith in the words We pronounced, assuring Our people: “The country is for all and religion for the individual,” and this has enhanced Our unity and strengthened Our Government through the spirit of brotherly love.
The love of country shown by the people of Eritrea will benefit not only them but also the whole of Ethiopia. Although this good fortune has fallen to be Ours and the achievements speak in Our name, let Us not forget to express Our gratitude to God who accomplishes everything.
Thanks be to the Almighty who brought Our wishes and desires into a happy realization and made Us celebrate the New Year in unity.
Sept. 13, 1960
Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 346 –