Victory Day celebratedStaff Correspondent
The nation celebrated its 43rd Victory Day with tens of thousands of people visiting and placing flowers at the National Memorial at Savar and other war monuments across the country to pay homage to war heroes on Monday, with a call for the execution of all verdicts against the war criminals and a boycott of war criminals and the people who side with them.
People observed the day with a display of patriotism and unity, they held up green and red cards to create the world’s largest human flag to represent the Bangladeshi standard.
Thousands sang the national anthem in chorus at 4:31pm, commemorating the time of the surrender
of the Pakistani occupation forces and took oath of boycott of war criminals and people who side with them.
This year’s celebrations had an added significance as it took place four days after war criminal Abdul Quader Molla had been executed.
Streets swarmed with people carrying the national flag, with many draped in green and red. The day came as a welcome relief from the blockade of road, railway and highways and general strikes that have caused sufferings to people in the past two months.
On December 16, 1971, the nation earned its freedom through the nine-month bloody-war from the Pakistani marauding forces and their local collaborators.
The chief of the eastern command of the Pakistani forces, General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, along with 93,000 troops, surrendered to the allied forces in the Ramna Race Course, now Suhrawardy Udyan, in Dhaka after their defeat in the war.
In the capital, the day was heralded with 31 gun salutes at dawn.
The president, Abdul Hamid, the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, and the leader of the opposition in the parliament, Khaleda Zia, placed floral wreaths at the National Memorial at Savar and stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of respect to known and unknown war heroes.
The deputy speaker, Shawkat Ali, cabinet members, chiefs of the three services and diplomats also paid tribute to the heroes.
European Union envoys did not attend the Victory Day programme at Savar. They, however, joined the president’s reception at the night.
All major political parties, socio-economic and cultural and professional organisations and educational institutions paid their tribute to the heroes at the National Memorial.
After the state dignitaries had left the memorial, people from all walks of life converged into the premises of the memorial and the alter was soon covered with flowers as mourners in processions filed past it, placing flowers and recalling the valiant sons of the soil.
The ruling Awami League and the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalists Party held different programmes in the capital marking the day.
In connection with Victory Day celebrations, thousands also flocked to the National Parade Ground to take part and witness the creation of the world’s largest human flag to represent the Bangladeshi standard.
A total of 27,117 participants joined the record-making efforts, Sayed Talat Kamal, vice-president (communications and media relations) of Robi, said.
The telecoms company organised the event in partnership with the Bangladesh Army.
In the afternoon, people rushed to Suhrawardy Udyan to sing the national anthem together and take oath.
They sang national anthem in chorus at 4:31pm, commemorating the exact time when Pakistani forces surrendered.
The national committee on the observance of the 43rd Victory Day and some other organisations including the Sector Commanders Forum, with Shahbagh protesters organised the event
The day was a national holiday. The national flag was hoisted atop all government and private buildings. Many buildings were illuminated.
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