For one minute on Wednesday at 11.30am, we are all requested to observe a moment of silence and quiet prayer, a reflection by each and every one of us to mark Commemoration Day. It’s the second year that the occasion has been formally marked in the UAE, and the date coincides with the opening of Wahat Al Karama, the national martyrs’ monument adjacent to the Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
The UAE is a young nation, yet to turn 45. But in its young history, it has always been served by loyal, patriotic and dedicated men determined to see it stand proud, independent and as a beacon to the values of the founding fathers.
From the very early days of this nation’s inception, there have been brave men who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, willing to lay down their lives for the UAE, its leaders and people in the cause of defending its borders and its freedom.
On the international stage, there are those that have answered the call of the UAE, and have dutifully fallen in the line of national duty. Whether it is at home or abroad, in the civil, military or humanitarians fields, brave men and women have served this nation, have donned its uniforms, and have died a martyr’s death in the name of honour, duty and service.
For those who have died serving the UAE in its duties in Yemen, there is solace in knowing that the cause is just, is righteous and has the full endorsement of the United Nations Security Council in resolutions and resolve.
Yes, we are asked to observe a minute’s quiet today, but the reality is that the contributions of all who died in the service of this nation, its missions and its leadership, deserve far more than but 60 seconds of silence once a year. For families — fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters — the memory of those who will never return from the call of duty is a light that never fades, a flame that never dies.
Yes, the memorial of Wahat Al Karama is a fitting tribute to commemorate the ranks of martyrs whose sacrifice endows us with the freedoms and privileges we enjoy today.
There, the monument provides a space for reflection, a concrete and metal tribute to those who have shed their blood in making the UAE as it is today. But yes, we should never forget these men and women, and they deserve to be in our minds and hearts each and every day.