The nation is paying deep homage to the Liberation War martyrs today (Saturday) marking the country’s 47th Victory Day.
On this day in 1971, Pakistani occupation forces surrendered after a nine-month war resulting in free, independent and sovereign Bangladesh.
The day is a public holiday.
This year, the Victory Day celebrations reached a new height as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) on October 30 last recognised Bangabandhu’s historic 7th March Speech as a world documentary heritage.
On March 7 in 1971, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in his fiery speech called on the freedom-loving Bangalis to wage a decisive struggle against the Pakistani rulers.
“Ebarer sangram amader muktir sangram, ebarer sangram swadhinatar sangram [The struggle this time is a struggle for emancipation, the struggle this time is a struggle for independence],” Bangabandhu declared in a thunderous voice at a mammoth rally at the Racecourse Maidan (now Suhrawardy Udyan) that day.
Different political parties, socio-cultural organisations and educational institutions are marking the day with various programmes.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid rich tributes to the martyrs of the Liberation War by placing wreaths at the National Mausoleum at Savar with the rise of the sun.
The President and the Prime Minister laid wreaths at the monument at 6:34am and stood there in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the martyrs of the 1971 Liberation War.
Later, flanked by senior party leaders, Sheikh Hasina, also Awami League President, laid another wreath at the National Mausoleum as the party chief.
Meanwhile, President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia issued separate messages on the occasion.
The national flag was hoisted atop all government and private buildings while the government and semi-government buildings and other public places were illuminated and roads and islands decorated with flags and festoons in all cities of the country on the occasion.
National dailies brought out supplements while state-owned and private televisions and radios are airing special programmes highlighting the significance of the day.
Special prayers are being offered in mosques, temples, churches, pagodas and other places of worship seeking divine blessings for the peace and progress of the country.
The President will accord a reception to freedom fighters at Bangabhaban in the afternoon.
Destitute children are being allowed to visit the children park in the capital on the day free of cost. Improved diets are being served in jails, hospitals, orphanages and vagrant homes across the country.unb