The bodies of martyrs arrive to full military honours at Al Bateen Airport Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has issued a statement on the occasion of the first UAE Commemoration Day on November 30.

Shaikh Khalifa’s statement in full:

“UAE Commemoration Day is a landmark national occasion in our country; a day on which we are inspired by the patriotism of our heroes, take them as our role models in the defence of our dear homeland, and pray to Almighty God to rest their souls in Paradise, granting patience and solace to their bereaved families.

Nations only grow by the heroic acts of their valiant servicemen, who are recorded in the annals of history for their ultimate sacrifices. It is through these sacrifices by our martyrs that we build the strength and glory and pride of our nation in the current and future generations.

They will be filled with glory, honour and dignity among nations and will also feel proud of those martyrs before all others, writing in brightly-lit chapters of our history their courageous acts and their brave initiatives on the battlefields.

The 30th day of November every year will always be remembered as a day of gratitude and of tribute to our martyrs. A day on which we take the utmost care of martyrs’ families, responding to their needs for education, health, and other basic services, including a house with all modern amenities.

They will always remain dear members of our families and the provision of a dignified life for them will also take a noble place amongst the top priorities of our Government, on an equal footing with all others.

The Commemoration Day we mark today should be a momentous day, full of giving and generosity for the sake of preserving the capabilities of the nation and its territorial integrity. It should serve as a motive for people to enroll enthusiastically for their national service, so as to learn how they may properly protect and preserve our nation’s honour and respect.

While celebrating Martyrs Day, we should learn how to be resilient, so that we may confront challenges and events, dealing with and responding to crises. National service builds and develops our youth, so that they may become men who sincerely believe in their God, religion and nation, standing with their wise leadership by word and deed and doing whatever is needed to raise the stature of our nation amongst us.

May God guide your steps to success and protect our nation from any harm.”

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid: We feel pride for our brave heroes

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, on Sunday confirmed that Commemoration Day is the beginning of a new era in the UAE, an era which is full of sacrifice by every precious thing for the sake of the homeland, its future, as well as enhance solidarity with its leadership in order to preserve its security, stability and interests.

In his speech on the occasion of Commemoration Day, which falls on November 30th, Shaikh Mohammad said: “Today, we prove that for martyrs, we are loyal to their sacrifices and we are like fathers to their sons. We pledge that we will continue their march and appreciate their sacrifices for ever.”

He added that on Commemoration Day, the UAE people and history will mark the sacrifices of those who gave their lives for the sake of the country.

Shaikh Mohammad's full speech:

“On this great day, the UAE, its people and history commemorate those brave people who sacrificed their lives and hoisted its flag high. We and our brothers celebrate Commemoration Day with a new spirit in our country, in which we feel pride for those who sacrificed their lives to protect the security of their country and future of the region, those people who offered their prayers and prayed for Allah Almighty to grant them martyrdom.

On this day, we feel pride for those brave heroes as we show them all kinds of respect and appreciation. All our deeds and achievements can not be compared to theirs.
We proclaim that they are brave people who wrote a new history and vanquished their enemies to bring victory, to defend against injustice and respond to the call of their leadership in all circumstances.

On this day, we promise that we will continue their march of sacrifice and commemorate their anniversary as long as we live. We also celebrate and honour their parents and families who sacrificed their sons, and, at the same time, are ready to make more sacrifices. We also celebrate and honour the injured soldiers who have sworn to return to the battlefield, to continue the march of honour and acts of heroism. We celebrate the sons of martyrs who are always satisfied by their fathers' sacrifices and deeds.

Commemoration Day marks the beginning of a new era in the UAE, an era of sacrifice for the sake of the homeland, an era of those who are ready to sacrifice every precious thing for the sake of the nation's future and enhance cohesion and integration with its leadership, aimed to safeguard its stability and interests.

Brothers, National Day of this year is a source of double happiness and pride, as this year's celebration is dedicated to our martyrs and our top achievements; the sacrificing of our sons for the sake of defending the right and supporting legitimacy, preserving the security and stability of GCC states and the homeland of the Two Holy Mosques.

On the UAE's 44th National Day, our country has become stronger, our people are more cohesive, our country is more stable and secure and has more respect and appreciation among other nations and peoples.

We pray to Almighty Allah to accept our martyrs, preserve our country, grant us permanent security and stability and more work and achievements for the benefit of our people and our country.”

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed: It is a day of honour and pride

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said national anniversaries are a reflection of UAE’s achievements and gains, with each one of them carrying honourable significance.

“The anniversary — Commemoration Day — we mark today represents the noblest values of patriotism, loyalty, belonging and dedication. It is the day of honour and pride, the day to pay tribute to our intrepid martyrs, celebrating their bravery, determination and sacrifice. Our fallen heroes have given up their own lives for the UAE flag to remain flying aloft with power, pride and glory,” Shaikh Mohammad said in his statement to mark Commemoration Day (Martyrs’ Day), which falls tomorrow.

Here is the full text of Shaikh Mohammad’ statement:

“Today, we stand together to honour the heroism and sacrifice of our martyrs, immortalising them in history with pride, honour and gratitude, and recognising the ultimate sacrifice they have made for our nation and the values of humanity.

“The decision by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan that November 30 will be marked as Commemoration Day pays homage to the sacrifices of our loyal servicemen and the values of bravery, selflessness and heroism they stand for. It also reaffirms that our nation never forgets its people, civilian or military, who sacrifice their lives for it and work for its prosperity. Our martyrs will always be a symbol of patriotism for our people.

“We take great pride in our martyrs as we do in their families, parents, wives, children and relatives who have demonstrated extraordinary patience, awareness, willpower and genuine love for their country. They have inspired their fellow citizens’ absolute faith in the strength of our country, the coherence of its people and their unity in the face of challenges and difficult times.
“To them I say on this day: You are worthy of the pride we have in you, and that will be passed on to your children, grandchildren and future generations of this beloved nation. Our pride in you is immeasurable; with your faith and patriotism, you have truly become a symbol of the ideal citizen.

“We also stand together to remember, with pride and admiration, the deep national unity of our citizens who have shown great feelings of solidarity and support towards martyrs’ families, and shown that the whole nation values their sons’ sacrifices.

“By standing together, the people of the UAE have demonstrated the unity and coherence of the Emirati society, the solidarity of its children and their willingness to answer the call of duty without hesitation. This attitude reflects the genuine Emirati nature as one, coherent family interlaced with its leadership even in the darkest of times. It is an image that has earned us the respect of the world for the strength of our country and its resilience against any attempt to challenge the fabric of our nation.

“On Commemoration Day, we realise that the best recognition for our martyrs is to continue achieving the mission they died for. It is therefore the mission of every one of us to keep our great nation strong and its flag flying aloft. With determination and strength, we will continue our march towards glory, progress and prosperity.

“The souls of our intrepid martyrs will always be beacons of light in the history of our nation. The UAE reaffirms that it will never hesitate to shoulder its national, ethical and humanitarian responsibilities, will always stand by distressed nations defending their right to security and development, and will continue to be a source of stability in the region and the world. Our martyrs have written an honourable chapter in the history of their nation that our children, grandchildren and future generations can be proud of and draw determination from in order to continue the quest of the United Arab Emirates to attain and preserve its rightful place among civilised nations.

“May God Almighty bless the souls of our martyrs and grant them eternal rest in paradise. May God bring their families the best rewards. May God keep the UAE strong and great forever as a model of patriotism and sacrifice, with its glorious history and ongoing determination to build a prosperous future for its people and humanity.

“May peace be upon you all.”