1 February 2013

Rwandans Mark Heroes' Day

Photo: New Times
Remembering a fallen hero (file photo).

Nothing could overshadow the path they took. If it came to life and death, they would give up the former for the freedom and tranquility of Mother Country. That ultimate sacrifice, we still cherish, years later...

Rwandans will for the 19th time today mark the National Heroes' Day, an auspicious event that is expected to be celebrated at village level across the country.

Ignatius Kamali Karegesa, the executive secretary of the Chancellery for Heroes and National Orders and Decorations of Honour, said the day will be celebrated under the theme; "Heroism is the Foundation of Dignity and Development."

"This year's event does not have a special character. It is not very different from the past celebrations. What we will emphasise, and perhaps undertake on a larger scale, is the coverage of the Rwandan population in terms of delivering talks to a whole range of audiences," said Kamali during an interview with The New Times.

Laying wreaths

Ordinarily, the day is characterised by the laying of wreath both by top government officials and family members of the heroes, whose remains lay at the Heroes Mausoleum near Amahoro Stadium in Remera.

Kamali said the commission is working on identifying more persons to add on the list of national heroes, who are in three categories of Imazi, Imena and Ingezi.

"We are still sorting out a few administrative issues. Once we are done, we will embark on research to make the heroes known," he said.

The heroes laid at the mausoleum include Maj. Gen. Fred Gisa Rwigema and the 'Unknown Soldier'. They represent the ultimate price during the liberation struggle from 1990-1994. Both rest in the Imanzi category. Those in the second category include King Mutara Rudahigwa, Michel Rwagasana, Agathe Uwiringiyimana, Felicite Niyitegeka and the Nyange students.

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