Canadian tourists observe a minute of silence as UAE flag flying at half mast at the Union House. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE stood in remembrance of the fallen heroes of the country on Thursday morning by lowering the nation’s flag across the country and observing a moment of silence.

The dignified event, marking Commemoration Day (Martyr’s Day), took place from 8am until 11.30am in several places across the UAE, under the auspices of government institutions.

Members of the community, citizens and expats honoured the soldiers who laid down their lives in the service of the nation by observing one minute of silent prayer at 11.30am, after which the UAE flag was raised again while the UAE national anthem was played.

At Dubai’s Etihad Museum, the national flag was flown at half-mast as a tribute to the martyrs, while in Sharjah, the UAE flag on a 123-metre-high pole, considered to be the seventh highest flagpole in the world, was also lowered in their honour.

Government departments and institutions organised a number of activities to mark Commemoration Day as their staff gathered together praying to Allah to bless the martyrs’ souls and to comfort their families and loved ones.

In Abu Dhabi, the corniche saw people of various nationalities and backgrounds also standing side by side with the UAE people in observing the one-minute silent prayer. Other establishments, including shopping malls also witnessed the same mark of respect for the brave sons of the UAE.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, led the main Commemoration Day ceremony at Wahat Al Karama.

On the occasion, Dubai’s Media Office said: “Our martyrs are a source of pride and honour and their sacrifices will remain forever in the memory of our nation.”

The Martyrs’ Families’ Affairs Office on Thursday expressed its gratitude to the nation in remembering its heroes on Commemoration Day.

“Thank you for your participation in #The_ UAE_ Remembers and joining us in expressing our pride and gratitude for the UAE’s heroes,” they tweeted.

President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan had pledged to the families of the nation’s martyrs that they will continue to receive the utmost care and full support of the nation.

The UAE observes November 30 every year as Commemoration Day to salute the martyrdom of Emirati heroes who sacrificed their lives defending the sovereignty of the nation in civil, military and humanitarian services, it was decreed by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The day was declared as a public holiday throughout the UAE, and is marked by a host of activities and events to honour the martyr’s brave deeds.