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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 June 2018

UAE Rulers honour martyrs on Commemoration Day 

Minute's silence as country marks lost servicemen

A minute of silence was observed across the country at 11.30am for soldiers, police officers, diplomats and all those who have died in service of the country.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, attended a solemn ceremony held at the Wahat Al Karama monument in Abu Dhabi.

“We stand tall with the sacrifices of our righteous martyrs,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, in a statement tweeted by the state news agency WAM.

“We remember their altruism, their contributions and heroic deeds in terms of the great value that remains everlasting across generations, pushing them to preserve the inheritance of the martyrs and follow their loyalty.”

Leaders, citizens and residents took to social media to pay their respects.

After the ceremony, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed wrote on Twitter: “Today all of us across the breadth of the nation stand tall to celebrate the righteous martyrs…our hearts beat with them, their heroism and their sacrifices. They didn’t leave us but will remain in the memory of every house and every place of our blessed land.”

Dubai Media Office tweeted the words of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, the Crown Prince of Dubai. “Our martyrs and brave soldiers…always remain a source of price for our precious nation,” it read.

The English hashtags #UAENationalDay and #CommemorationDay were trending on Twitter, with Arabic hashtags, Martyr’s Day and Martyrs of the Nation.

Videos circulated on social media showing coffins being carried off military aircraft, servicemen praying over bodies shrouded in flag and children being comforted by the sheikhs.

Other videos showed servicemen carrying artillery interspersed with scenes of men in prayer.

Many shared images of the men who were killed.

Commemoration Day was first introduced in 2015 as Martyrs Day, which is still the holiday's name in Arabic.