The respect and admiration for the UAE’s Armed Forces has only deepened and become more visible in everyday life
We will never forget our fallen heroes - video
It is two years ago today since an attack claimed the lives of over 50 UAE servicemen performing their duties in Yemen.
It is also barely three weeks since the crash of a helicopter in that same conflict added four more names to the rollcall of honour at Wahat Al Karama, the country’s memorial to fallen heroes that sits just a short distance from the Sheikh Zayed Mosque.
The time between those two events has not seen any shrinking of resolve in the country’s determination to see a successful outcome to restoring the legitimate government of Yemen and return the country to peace and stability.
Rather, like the panels of names at the Martyrs' Memorial that mark the sacrifices of September 4, 2015, and those before and after, the respect and admiration for the UAE’s Armed Forces has only deepened and become more visible in everyday life.
It can be seen in many ways. Commemoration Day, first announced as an official holiday only a fortnight before the worst loss of life in the UAE’s military history, is now the most solemn date on the calendar, when the country’s leaders pay ceremonial tribute to the fallen.
For tens of thousands of Government workers across the Emirates, November 30 is their chance to show in public their appreciation for the Armed Forces in defending and protecting their way of life.
This collective support has been visible at funerals for those killed in military service, often attended by the wider community to show their respect for the sacrifice of someone they did not personally know but who reflected their values and those of the nation.
It is visible in smaller, more intimate gestures like the children who chose the soldier’s uniform to dress up for their National Day celebrations and the drawings and paintings on the theme of military service that decorate the walls and classrooms of the UAE’s schools.
In all these ways, the memory of those lost two years ago remains undimmed.