NAT 191129 Commemoration Day1-1575020148998
File photo: Members of the UAE Airforce participate in a Commemoration Day ceremony, at Wahat Al Karama. Image Credit: WAM

ABU DHABI: Martyrdom is the highest degree of devotion and dedication to the homeland, and only great nations are built through sacrifice and sincere belonging, President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has said.

Ahead of the Commemoration Day which is observed in the UAE on November 30, the President said in a statement to Nation Shield, the military and strategic journal: “On this glorious day, when we exalt the values of giving and sacrifice, we express the utmost appreciation to our righteous martyrs who have given their blood and souls in fulfilment of the sacred duty, in support of the oppressed, in defence of the truth, and in the protection of the UAE, which was founded by our fathers on the values of giving, redemption, belonging, loyalty and courage

“The biography of the martyrs of the homeland, whose processions have progressed throughout history, will remain immortal in our conscience, and the medals of honour and pride we take.

"This biography is embodied by the society in its cohesion, and the State is committed to caring for and honouring the children of the martyrs and their families.

"Martyrdom is the highest degree of devotion and dedication to the homeland, and great nations are built through sacrifice and sincere belonging.

“On this blessed day, we pay tribute to our valiant sons, soldiers, officers and commanders of our armed forces, who are vigilant in protecting and defending the homeland, and saluting our children across all workplaces inside and outside the country.

“We pray to God that our martyrs may rest in His mercy and that they achieve the highest paradise because they believed in what God and the homeland had promised.

"We ask God Almighty to reward their children and their families for their certainty, their composure, patriotism and their patience, and we call on him to preserve our country, and to perpetuate the blessings of our state’s security and safety.

‘I salute all families’

His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, also paid special tributes of glory and honour to the UAE martyrs on Commemoration Day, sharing his sincere gratitude to their families who, he said, set a perfect example of giving and belonging to the homeland by sacrificing their sons for the highest good of all Emiratis.

In his statement to the magazine, Shaikh Mohammed said: “On behalf of all Emiratis, I salute all families who offered their sons to protect the national gains of our homeland and to keep our flag flying high at all times under all circumstances. It’s your wisdom, fortitude and magnanimity that enabled our valiant armed forces to continue to be the protective shield of our homeland.

“Our martyrs are the sons and grandsons of our nation’s icon and the founder of our renaissance, late Shaikh Zayed. They are the trustees of his vision, which states that the UAE army is our protective shield that preserves our national unity and accomplishments, and helps our brotherly Arab countries in case of need.

“As we celebrate today the quintessential Emirati values of giving, loyalty and self-denial, we urge our families, schools, media and literati to continue to inculcate these noble values in our society and instill them in our younger generations, so they align themselves with the heroic deeds of our martyrs in word and deed.

Message of martyrdom

“This solemn occasion reminds us to continue to engrave the message of martyrdom in our mind, memory and heart.

“The Commemoration Day will forever remain as an indelible message that the sovereignty, security, stability and pride of the UAE, and the safety and well-being of Emiratis are a priority that is second to none. We will remain willing and ready to bear the costs of protecting our land, ensuring its independence, building our nation and maintaining our national gains, thereby keeping our country as a role model for development, prosperity, social welfare, and economic well-being.

“The heroes of our armed forces, along with all security departments and institutions, and all the sons and daughters of the UAE, bear the costs of facing the dangers besetting our homeland and those surrounding our brotherly countries and Arab nations at large.

"While valiantly performing their noble tasks, our armed forces deliver a clear-cut message purporting that the UAE is a nation with innate immune defenses against any evil machinations and plots thanks to our cohesive social fabric and the strong bonds of solidarity between our people and leadership.

“On this blessed day filled with faithfulness and a flood of emotions and patriotic feelings, we renew our thanks and gratitude to my brother President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his decision to designate November 30 as a national day to honour our martyrs. His Highness’ decision deepens in the hearts of our sons and daughters the lofty meanings of martyrdom, giving and self-denial.

“I extend my thanks to my brother His Highness Shaikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces who is the father, the elder brother and the leader of his comrades in the UAE Armed Forces.

"His Highness’ initiative to establish the Martyrs’ Families’ Affairs Office in his Court and his direct follow-up, thereof, ensures an institutional framework to care for the martyrs’ families and their children.

“I would also like to thank my brothers, members of the Supreme Council and the rulers of the UAE for naming schools, halls, streets and public facilities after our martyrs.

“I pray to Allah Almighty to preserve our homeland and people, to sustain our security, stability and prosperity, and to reward our martyrs with His Paradise. I supplicate to Allah as well to guide us on His virtuous path and to strengthen us in the service of our religion, society and nation.”

Keeping the flag flying high

His Highness Shaikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said that the UAE martyrs who sacrificed their very souls in protection of the homeland shoulder all Emiratis with a solemn responsibility toward their nation building and toward keeping the national flag flying high at all fronts and under all circumstances.

In his statement to Nation Shield, he said: “The essential message delivered by the Commemoration Day is for every Emirati to keep sacrificing for his/her homeland by continuing to be loyal to our deeply-rooted principles and values, the seeds of which were sown by the Founding Fathers of the UAE Federation.

“Our martyrs embody the UAE’s solid commitment toward our brotherly countries, their national defence and their right to stability, development and progress. They express in the truest sense of the word the UAE’s principled stance, adopted since the era of late Sheikh Zayed, in support of righteousness and justice.

“While bearing witness to every achievement being now made in the UAE, we recall the noble sacrifices made by our martyrs who are all true partners in every accomplishment and step forward we are taking on the right path toward making our dreams come true.

“Our martyrs will remain our source of pride at all times. Their heroic deeds go down in the annals of history as a source of inspiration for all sincere deeds made to ensure our country’s glory, stability and progress toward a brighter future.

“On the Commemoration Day, we spell out our wholehearted loyalty to our Homeland and express our deepest gratitude to all those who sacrificed their soul in protection of their homeland and who we are sure will remain alive with their Lord and will have their reward.

“On this glorious occasion, we stand in all solemnity in appreciation of our brave Armed Forces, who symbolise all sincere feelings of dedication and commitment to the nation’s values and principles. They represent the school from which our martyrs learned the love of and sacrifices to the homeland under all circumstances.

“On the Commemoration Day we recall our late Founding Father late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan who sowed the seeds of loyalty to the Homeland. These seeds fructified into generations of heroes ready to sacrifice their very souls in defense of their homeland and in serving their national duty.

Call to Emirati youth

“On this glorious day in the history of our nation, I urge our Emirati youth to learn by heart the narratives of our martyrs who represent a role model for fighting against oppression and defending their national soil. They sacrificed their souls in order for this nation to continue to live in peace and stability.

"Their sacrifices shoulder all Emiratis with a solemn responsibility toward their nation. Their heroic narratives and deeds are the best source from which we can continue to get inspired and learn that defending our homeland is a sacred duty that is second to none.

“May God have peace on the souls of our martyrs, reward them with His Heaven, protect our Nation and our loyal sons and daughters and bless the families of those who sacrificed their lives for our glory.”

His Highnesses the Rulers of the different emirates also issued their statements to mark Commemoraton Day.