Wednesday, 15 January 2014

January 15 is The Nigerian Armed Forces Remembrance Day

President Jonathan in military uniform
President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja today led leaders of the executive, legislature and judiciary as well as military and para-military organisations to honour Nigeria’s fallen heroes.
The President and the others performed the 2014 Armed Forces Remembrance Day wreath laying ceremony at the National Arcade in Abuja. The annual ceremony started at 10 am. with the arrival at the arcade by the president, who is also the Grand Patron of the Nigerian Legion.
Upon the arrival of the President, there was a general salute, rendition of the National Anthem and inspection of parade in four colours.
The four colours of the parade were the national colour and the three regimental colours of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Air Force.
Prayers were offered for the repose of the souls of departed heroes; and for peace, security, and unity of Nigeria by Christians and Muslims.
Shortly after the prayers, the President laid a wreath, followed by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal.

Officers and men of the igerian Legion
Nigeria's military strength on display as Nigerian military helicopter proudly flies the national flag
The Armed Forces and Remembrance Day celebration is an annual event organized to honour members of the Nigerian Armed Forces who fought in the first and second World Wars, and those who served or are still serving in various peace support operations worldwide as well as those who fought in the Nigerian civil war. The Day is to celebrate both the dead and the living heroes including all those who suffered various deprivations as a result of wars.
The Day was initially marked on the 11th of November every year to coincide with the Remembrance Day popularly known as “Poppy Day” or “11 – 11” for the first and Second World War veterans in all Commonwealth countries. However, in Nigeria, in view of some significant historical developments, it is now celebrated on the 15th of January every year. The change to January 15 of every year was done in commemoration of the surrender of Biafran troops to the Federal troops on January 15, 1970, thus signalling the end of the Nigerian Civil War that sought to tear apart the unity of Nigeria.
Troops in training
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Since then, it has become a national ritual when on every January 15 nationwide, military personnel including the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Nigerian Legion converge in different centres across the nation to celebrate the day and give honour to the fallen and living heroes who hazarded and continue to hazard their lives for the territorial integrity of the nation and for peace to reign worldwide. The event is held at the federal, state and local levels where either serving military officers reside or where living ex-service men occupy.
Combat ready
Several events including release of pigeons to symbolize peace, placing of wreaths, playing of the last post, Remembrance Day parade, shooting of guns and others characterize this memorable day. The army officers are usually attired in diverse colours typical of their fields be it Navy, Air Force, Army and the ex-service men. Beside parades, placing of wreaths and releasing of pigeons, the event also witnesses religious services in both mosques and churches nationwide.

We will not forget
Today we remember our fallen heroes who against all odds, in the face of adversity, have willingly laid down their lives for the unity of our Nation and the peace and security of Africa. May God Almighty grant their souls eternal rest and their families the strength and fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss.
We also remember today, our brothers and sisters currently deployed to various parts of the country and continent. Their bravery has made us truly Africa’s big brother. We are eternally grateful to the officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Force, serving and retired.

God bless the Armed of the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!

This great Republic…….our home.

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