Nation Salutes War Heroes | Daily News


Nation Salutes War Heroes

They laid down their precious lives to ensure a better tomorrow for us. A grateful nation will forever remember their heroic deeds on the battlefields of the North and the East for nearly three decades. They defeated a ruthless enemy 11 years ago, bringing peace to the nation after three decades of bloodshed. Some of them never lived to see that day, but their sacrifice was not in vain, as we are finally free of the scourge of terrorism.

It is thus fitting that the nation celebrates their heroism, determination and sacrifice very year on May 19. The National War Heroes Day commemoration ceremony was held at the War Heroes’ memorial at Parliament grounds at 4.00 p.m. yesterday under the patronage of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was the President when victory over terrorism was secured.

 It was a moving tribute to the men and women of the Security Forces who have rendered a yeoman service to bring peace to our island and who continue to battle against a pandemic in the present context while defending the Motherland from various internal and external threats from transnational terrorism to narcotics trafficking.

This year, the ceremony was held on a low key due to the present health situation in the country. The National War Heroes Commemoration ceremony was organised by the Ranaviruseva Authority in compliance with the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry. 

The day’s ceremony commenced around 4.00 p.m. with the arrival of the special invitees. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived at the venue around 4.25 p.m. Prior to the arrival of the Premier, Western Province Governor and Marshal of the Air Roshan Goonetileke, Admiral of the Fleet Wasantha Karannagoda, President’s Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara, Defence Secretary Major General (Rtd) Kamal Gunaratne, Army Commander Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva, Air Force Commander Air Marshal Sumangala Dias and Navy Commander Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva and the Acting Inspector General of Police C.D. Wickramaratne arrived at the venue.

The day’s events commenced with the National Anthem being sung, followed by a two-minute silence as a mark of respect for the fallen War Heroes.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa arrived at around 4.27 pm.

After the reading of the narration, at 4.34 pm, religious activities commenced at 4.37 pm, followed by the welcome speech by the Chairman of the Ranaviru Seva Authority. At 4.57 pm the warriors’ drums were played (Rana Bera).

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa addressed the ceremony at 5.05 pm, followed by the Air Force dropping flowers from the air. At 5.24 pm, President Rajapaksa placed a floral tribute at the war memorial, after which the Prime Minister and other dignitaries also placed floral tributes for the fallen war heroes. The family members of the some of the fallen war heroes also placed floral tributes.

At 6.00 pm, the last post and reveille was heralded and the ceremony concluded around 6.05 p.m. The number of invitees was limited and as the public was not permitted to witness the ceremony unlike in previous years, all the television stations broadcast the event live.   

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