By BEREKET KIDANE
It’s been a busy last week of May for Eritreans around the world with Independence Day celebrations being held in every corner of this globe.
The month of June, on the other hand, is dedicated to the memory of our martyrs. It’s a quick pivot from a celebratory month on May to a commemorative one in June. Independence Day and Martrys’ Day are held in back-to-back months for a reason. It’s meant to remind us that the Independence Day we joyfully celebrated in May was a direct result of the incredible sacrifice of our martyrs and fallen heroes we commemorate in June.
Virtually every Eritrean has been affected. There is not a single Eritrean who doesn’t have a family member that fell in battle during the armed struggle for liberation or in defense of Eritrea’s sovereignty against Ethiopian invasion.
There was a story on Shabait.com last week about a young Warsay who lost both his legs and his eye sight while serving as a tank commander defending against TLF’s Western-backed invasion. These are the stories that need to be told and re-told so that future generations are aware of the heavy price paid to secure Eritrea’s independence and defend it.
Martyrs’ Day is one of the saddest days on the Eritrean calendar. Most places of entertainment and cafes are closed on that day. Memorial Day in Eritrea is not about hot dogs or mattress sales. Bereavement itself affects every Eritrean family of a fallen hero on that day and throughout the year. The main memorial ceremony is held in Nakfa, the former stronghold where many of Eritrea’s fallen heroes are buried, but many bereaved families gather in every town where there is a Martyrs’ Cemetery to remember their loved ones.
Our martrys’ sacrifice is the backbone on which Eritrean sovereignty and independence are formed. So let us stand tall for Eritrea’s fallen heroes and their families during this special month.