By Amanuel Biedemariam,
It is easy to argue that all Eritreans in and out of Eritrea are veterans. Nearly every Eritrean has taken part on liberating and defending Eritrea in one form or another. This article however, will focus on those veterans that struggled to liberate and defend Eritrea.
Eritrea is very connected to the martyrs that died to liberate and defend the nation. The martyrs of Eritrea are honored in a manner that they deserve. However, the idea of honoring Eritrea’s veterans has so far been, one can say, not addressed with the urgency it deserves.
Eritreans are not big on praises, awards or attention. The selflessness of Eritrean psyche is partly to blame for lack of attention to this issue. In addition, relative to the sacrifices Eritreans have made to get to this point; accolades, awards and honors have meant little. In the past, I have written an article called, “Eritrea’s Veterans Day” with the hopes that it will encourage Eritreans to discuss the matter and in the best case scenario to pave ways for the formation of Veterans Day for Eritrea’s veterans.
Considering the challenges Eritrea faces it may appear untimely or difficult to pause and start to honor veterans when there is unfinished business with the “No-War-No-Peace” situation and all the hostilities Eritrea faces. However, when one considers the purpose of the No-war-no- peace agenda, not addressing the issue of veterans could mean falling on their trap for that is one of the intended outcomes of the strategy.
To weaken Eritrean nationalism and destabilize Eritrea, the enemies of Eritrea have targeted Eritrea’s Independence Day, Martyr’s Day and the Military amongst other agendas to attack, blemish and demonize. These are key ingredients that define the Eritrean identity. By minimizing Independence Day or Martyrs Day they minimize Eritrea’s independence. That is the reason why they hold demonstrations on Independence Day. Just imagine what Americans will do to someone that tries to demonstrate on the 4th of July, but that is what these criminals are doing. Eritreans in the Diaspora are their focus also because to weaken and fracture it would mean unchallenged ownership of Eritrean related issues around the world.
Honoring Eritrean veterans is a historic responsibility of the current Eritrean generation. The meaning and implications of honoring Eritrea’s Veterans is paramount to the future of the new nation. It defines who we are as people and, how we view service, national service as a Nation. It speaks to the generosity and heart of Eritreans. It is expression of how we view ourselves.
Veterans are a reflection of Eritrean populations and a representation of Eritrea’s history. There are wounded veterans, women veterans and veterans that are still actively engaged on the nation’s buildings endeavors etc…When we create ways to honor veterans therefore, we are honoring the nation. We are honoring their accomplishments and sacrifices.
Eritrea has many wounded veterans that need support and recognition. The government of Eritrea is keen and has established many supporting mechanisms to deal with it. It is actually heartwarming when one sees the way Eritrea’s wounded veterans live. It is uplifting to witness how Eritreans treat and deal with each other. In Eritrea wounded veterans are amongst the most proud and their wounds are seen as badges of honor as they should. To see them differently could be insulting and emasculating. However, honoring them at the level they deserve is uplifting, gratifying and expression of gratitude.
With every wound, there is a story of gallantry and heroism untold to this generation Eritreans. If the stories remain untold it is a big loss, a burial, untimely burial of the history heroes and heroines that gave and sacrificed so much to ensure what Eritrea proudly celebrates INDEPENDENCE. Hence, establishing ways to honor veterans is to keep their heroic history and legacy alive.
Honoring Veterans is not an issue that should be delayed, glossed over or put-on-hold for any reason. It is about time that the people of Eritrea to address this subject because the enemies are desperate to tarnish the picture of Eritrean heroes. To tarnish the history and legacy of military and all the service men and women that served and are serving to bring independence, nurture and defend it. Hence, it is the responsibility of every Eritrean to thank, those that are serving and, those who have served with the honor and recognition they deserve.
The men and women of Eritrean military services are heroes and heroines that deserve the highest honor we can accord. They are not slaves, will never be slaves. In fact, the men and women of Eritrean military service are the veterans of the struggle and their sons and daughters who are also veterans. Their legacy is one that fought mental slavery and actually won that battle long time ago.
Honoring our heroes and veterans is therefore a reminder to the enemy that wants to label Eritrea’s heroes as slaves and the institution as slavery that in reality the truly enslaved is themselves mental-slavery of the worst kind.
The heroes they called enslaved are Eritrean armed men and women that grew from the storied legacy of the masses enlightened, organized and armed mentally, physically and in every way capable to ward-off the mentally enslaved carcasses like the head of Asmarino.com and Dan Connel.
Eritrea always prevails and no PR gimmick can disarm the gallant people of Eritrea. Eritrea knows no slaves but heroes.
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