Manama: Bahrain's King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa has honoured Bahraini citizens for their distinguished work in a three-hour open air ceremony marking the National Day and Accession to the Throne.
Those who were honoured represented a cross-section of Bahrain's society and included religious scholars, surgeons, a mason, women's rights and social activists, a broadcaster, a poet, a football coach, officers, a policeman with an outstanding record in combating drug trafficking, a businessmen and a poet.
"We have chosen today, the Kingdom's 38th National Day and tenth anniversary of our accession to the throne, to honour pioneers of national work who have worked hard and given a lot to their country through their outstanding achievements over the past ten years," King Hamad said.
"It is a day that we will cherish forever and on which we recall with gratitude all those who made tremendous sacrifices so that our country remains free, respectable and powerful. This is an occasion from which we derive the noble legacy of our children and fathers.
"We all work to preserve and promote this heritage through sincere and serious work. This occasion will remain alive in the memories of those who endeavour to protect the country's independence and maintain its security and stability. They are our brave men, officers, non-commissioned officers, security officers, members of our armed forces and all those who work for the welfare and prosperity of the nation.
"We take this opportunity to express our appreciation to all those who have contributed, along with us, to the Kingdom's modern development and to all those who have taken part in organising our national celebrations and shared with us the feelings of love and allegiance.
"Let's work together for our country's progress and prosperity," said King Hamad who succeeded his father, the late Shaikh Eisa, in 1999. Bahrain celebrates his accession to the throne on December 17.
Bahrain became independent in 1971.