President Sheikh Khalifa and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid issued statements ahead of Commemoration Day
Sheikh Khalifa: memory of Emirati martyrs will be eternal in UAE's consciousness
The memory of the UAE's martyrs will be eternally engraved in the country's consciousness as they are the country's pride, President Sheikh Khalifa said ahead of Commemoration Day.
"Our son's sacrifices will only increase our strength, determination and cohesion to preserve the state founded by our fathers on the values of sacrifice, virility and the advocacy for what is right and support the oppressed," he said in a statement issued to Nation Shield, the Armed Forces magazine, on Wednesday.
As the country prepared for National Day celebrations to mark 46 years since the foundation of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa offered a reminder of the sacrifices made by the armed forces and pledged to the families of the nation's martyrs that they would continue to receive the utmost care and full support of the country.
"Because we are a nation that treasures the value of sacrifice and never forgets those who devoted their lives and offered their precious blood to keep the nation's flag flying high," he said.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid also spoke to the magazine saying: "The UAE's martyrs have set a magnificent example of sacrifices that entrust us with a great responsibility to preserve our unity and become more committed and dedicated to continue the drive of evolving our beloved homeland."
"Our martyrs have set a magnificent example of sacrifices that entrust us with a great responsibility to preserve our unity and become more committed and dedicated to continue the drive of evolving our beloved homeland," the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai said.
Thursday is Commemoration Day, an occasion on which Emiratis and expats alike remember those who have died while serving the country. A moment’s silence will be held at 11.30am.
Hundreds of martyrs’ families will travel to the Wahat Al Karama memorial in Abu Dhabi.
Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, said it was a day to celebrate the glory of the nation with the most glorious images of sacrifice.
"On the occasion, we affirm that the anniversary of our martyrs will remain alive and fresh in the memory of generations and immortal in the conscience of our people," he said.
Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, also said, "The sacrifices provided by the UAE martyrs throughout its glorious history emphasise their commitment to develop the country and to preserve and defend its dignity whatever the cost."
He said, "Commemoration Day is the day of pride, dignity, solidarity, and of support for the homeland and justice and of appreciation for the sacrifices of the brave Emirati martyrs. It is the day when the UAE unites to support the martyrs."
Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Ruler of Fujairah, said, "There are no lives more precious than those of our nation's sons, who have made the greatest sacrifice possible, who demonstrated their bravery and courage in the field, and showed to the whole world the noble values of nobility, humanity, belonging and loyalty to this nation which they carried in their souls."
Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Ruler of Ajman, called it, "A matter of pride for us to witness the honouring of the martyrs of the homeland in recognition and appreciation of their sacrifices and acts of patriotism, as they represent an immortal example of national unity and belonging. They have raised the banner of the UAE and their names have become immortal in our hearts and in the hearts of their beloved ones and their people."
For Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mualla, Ruler of Umm Al Quwain, November 30, "Is a tribute to all our heroes who are performing their duties nationally and abroad, across all sectors, until they have become role models in the military, civil and humanitarian fields."
Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, said the mothers of martyrs were an example to all the people of the UAE offering the ultimate sacrifice, their children, to protect the nation’s security and stability.
"It is you who deserve praise, honour, appreciation and gratitude for your dedication and sacrifices made for the nation," Sheikha Fatima, the Mother of the Nation, added.
"Your sons and daughters are our children, we too have felt the pain of their loss as they were defending the security and stability of our country and our neighbouring states. We are proud despite the magnitude of this great loss."
The Martyrs' Families' Affairs Office sent citizens and residents a reminder via SMS to observe a minute of silent prayer from 11.30am on Thursday to honour the country's heroes.
People are instructed to lower the UAE flag at 8am ahead of the minute of silence, then raise the flag at 11.31am and play the country's national anthem.
The annual day of remembrance was first declared by Sheikh Khalifa in 2015.
The date holds special significance. Salem Suhail bin Khamis was the country's first martyr on November 30, 1971. The young soldier died on the Greater Tunb island during a failed Iranian invasion days before the UAE’s formation. He was shot dead after refusing to lower the flag of Ras Al Khaimah when the invaders confronted him.
The date assumed even greater significance after September 4, 2015 when the country experienced the worst loss of life in the UAE's military history.
More than 50 Emirati soldiers were killed in an attack in Marib while taking part in the Saudi-led coalition's mission in Yemen. More than 100 have lost their lives to date.
Wahat Al Karama, a monument dedicated to honouring the country's heroes, was opened on November 30, 2016. The inside walls of the memorial site feature the names of Emiratis killed in the line of duty which are engraved in aluminium plates made of made of reclaimed materials from armoured vehicles used in service.