Abu Dhabi: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, visited Wahat Al Karama on Thursday to mark Commemoration Day.
Also present were Their Highnesses Members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi of Sharjah, Shaikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi of Ajman, Shaikh Hamad Bin Mohammad Al Sharqi of Fujairah, Shaikh Saud Bin Rashid Al Mualla of Umm Al Quwain and Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi of Ras Al Khaimah.
The event started with the entry of Their Highnesses to the Memorial Plaza, accompanied by a 21-gun salute, followed by the laying of wreaths at the memorial. Family members of UAE martyrs were presented with the Order of the Martyr by Their Highnesses to honour their sacrifice to the nation.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed greet martyrs’ families and others. Courtesy: Twitter
The event was the culmination of a day of remembrance for the UAE martyrs, with cannon fire and roaring jets in the blue skies as part of the proceedings.
Major-General Saleh Mohammad Al Ameri, Commander of the UAE Ground Forces, gave a rousing speech at the event on behalf of the martyrs’ families, saluting the bravery of the UAE’s Armed Forces and its soldiers who had laid down their lives to protect their country.
“Today, we are celebrating the November 30 as Commemoration Day, [which remembers] the country’s brave soldiers who have laid their lives down in service of the nation,” he said, as the audience of the UAE’s leaders and family members applauded, taking pride in their sons, fathers, and brothers. “Not only did these soldiers lay down their lives [for the nation], they also collaborated with international forces to restore peace and harmony in the region,” he added.
Maj-Gen Al Ameri also paid tribute to the armed forces of other countries which have been fighting side by side with the UAE to bring stability to the region.
“I also pay my heartfelt tribute to those soldiers who are collaborating with the UAE’s Armed Forces, fighting against extremist forces in the region. I salute those countries and their soldiers who were also martyred in restoring peace in the region.”
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid lays a wreath at Wahat Al Karama in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy: Twitter
Maj-Gen Al Ameri also paid tribute to the founding father of the UAE, the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
“Today we are celebrating our martyrs and also remembering the late Shaikh Zayed for his efforts to unify the country, and to provide a great life for those living in it,” he said.
Interactive visitors centre opened
Later, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed inaugurated Wahat Al Karama’s interactive visitors centre.
The centre allows visitors to learn about the values of altruism that define the sacrifices of Emirati martyrs and heroes throughout history. Visitors can learn more about the UAE’s heroes, and how they served not only the nation, but also humanity.
The Rulers were briefed about the contents of the centre that includes pictures that narrate the UAE’s great humanitarian achievements, the aid it extends to friendly nations and needy people across the globe and its efforts to spread security.
Rulers then visited the presentation halls that inform visitors on why November 30 was designated as Commemoration Day. The date coincides with the martyrdom of Salem Suhail Bin Khamis Al Dahmani, who died in Greater Tunb Island on November 30, 1971, protecting the nation’s land.
The presentation halls are equipped with large interactive screens that inform visitors about the content of Wahat Al Karama, in addition to display screens that play the Commemoration Day film that was produced exclusively for this year’s Commemoration Day. The film highlights the immense value of the martyrs’ sacrifice and its role in strengthening social cohesion and national unity.
The centre also contains artworks dedicated to UAE martyrs, which comes as part of the Proud Expressions initiative by the Martyrs’ Families’ Affairs Office at the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court.