Commemoration day
Commemoration Day recognises the sacrifices and dedication of Emirati martyrs who have given their life in the UAE and abroad Image Credit: WAM

This day — November 30 — has an important meaning in the UAE. A milestone in the country’s history, it marks the sacrifices of our martyred soldiers.

Throughout the country and across its beautiful landscape — from Abu Dhabi to Ras Al Khaimah and everywhere in between — Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah — people come together to remember the men who laid down their lives to uphold the twin values of strength and resilience, and preserving the safety, security, and stability of this nation.

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The late President Sheikh Khalifa introduced Commemoration Day in 2015 but it can be traced all the way back to November 30 to commemorate the death of UAE’s first martyr, Salem Suhail Bin Khamis Al Dahmani, who died on the same date in 1971 fighting on the island of Greater Tunb.

Commemoration day
Wahat Al Karama is a national tribute in Abu Dhabi that narrates stories of the UAE's heroes

Bravery against all odds

Since then many Emiratis have sacrificed their lives for the nation. Their dedication to the nation and bravery against all odds is forever engraved in that annals of UAE history.

November 30 is an official date when we recall those bravehearts and all that they did for this nation.

In their deaths, there is a message — while they attained martyrdom to keep the flag flying high and strengthen the national identity, all of us who call the UAE home, must work for the betterment of the state.

Their sacrifice is also a message for tomorrow’s generations as they march towards a bright future filled with hope and optimism: The country comes first.

Screengrab from video tweeted by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on Commemoration Day
The bravehearts attained martyrdom to keep the UAE flag flying high Image Credit: Screengrab

Source of pride

This spirit was best reflected in President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan words. While paying homage to UAE soldiers, he noted that their sacrifices in the line of duty would remain a “source of pride” for the Emirates.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed pledged that the UAE’s leadership would continue to support the loved ones of those who died in defence of their country.

“We promise our honourable martyrs that their sacrifices will remain immortal in the memory of generations and a source of pride,” Sheikh Mohamed noted.