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Nation pays solemn tribute to fallen heroes

The nation paid it’s proud and solemn tribute to those heroic soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice to defend the Motherland, at a ceremony held at the Ranaviru Monument at Sri Jayawardanapura, Kotte yesterday evening.

The first National Ranaviru Remembrance Day, in a country free of terrorism was held under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, carrying the message loud and clear that it was not a day of mourning, but that of remembrance.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa who participated at the National Heroes’ Day commemoration at the Jayawardanapura Ranaviru Monument being greeted by the parents and relatives of war heroes. Picture by Sudath Silva

The event which was also attended by the Defence Secretary, Chief of Defence Staff, Commanders of the three armed forces and the IGP along with the relatives of the fallen war heroes paid tribute to those warriors who sacrificed their lives so that others may live free.

The emotionally charged evening saw the relatives of those fallen heroes, their colleagues, political and military leaders of the country, paying their respect for the departed, with their heads held high, arms clenched at the sides and hearts swelling with pride.

As the proud and beautiful sounds of the beating drums reverberated in the air to touch the hearts of the gathering in the fading sun light, the military and political hierarchy of the country pledged to carry the torch that the fallen warriors carried; the torch of peace, freedom and integrity of the nation.

As the President mingled with the families of fallen heroes it was made clear by him that the sacrifice of their beloved had made this nation free of blood and tears instigated by terrorism, and that their sacrifice had not been in vain

“Thank you for the support you lent. You too are heroes of this land that your beloved safeguarded with supreme sacrifice. Hold your head high with pride. Let your tears of bereavement, become a potency to this nation.

Lets get together to restore the nations honour, which would be the most fitting tribute to those who laid down their lives” was the message from the President to those relatives of fallen heroes who gathered in their numbers at the Parliament grounds.

Late in the evening the President, followed by Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President Secretary Lalith Weeratunge, Speaker W.J.M.Lokubandara, Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Donald Perera, Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka, Air Force Commander Air Chief Marshall, Roshan Gunetilleke, IGP Jayantha Wickremarathne, Ranaviru Seva Authority Chairman Major General W P P Fernando and relatives of the fallen war heroes paid floral tributes in front of the monument in the fading light amidst the sad but proud strains eminating from the tri-forces bands in the air.

During the year 2000, the seventh day of June was declared ‘National War Heroes Day’. Since then every year the commemoration has been held on that date.

This year too the organizers, Ranaviru Seva Authority has planned a multitude of events all over the country, to coincide with the event, during the coming month.


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