Remembering Our Fallen Heroes

ACTIVITIES building up to the 2015 Nigerian Armed Forces Remembrance Day commenced within the week with the launching of the remembrance emblem across the country by the Nigerian Legion, an association of ex-servicemen who served in the nation’s armed forces.
The Armed Forces Remembrance Day is marked on January 15 as against the former date of November 11 every year which coincided with the Remembrance Day for the Second World War veterans in the British Commonwealth. The January 15 date was adopted as a historic commemoration of the cessation of hostilities between the Biafran troops and the Nigerian Army.
Sales of armed forces remembrance day emblems which commenced within the week is aimed at raising funds for the welfare of thousands of legionnaires who were disabled in the conflicts. By law, the legion is also empowered to operate certain businesses in order to raise money for its members.
The greatest honour the nation can accord her fallen heroes is to forestall any further breakdown of law and order, crisis or outright war. This is why we are calling on political and religious leaders across the country to ensure that the hostilities being witnessed in the North Eastern flank of the country is urgently brought under control to create the right atmosphere for the Nigerians to march out in their numbers and express themselves through the instrumentality of the ballot box come February.
The remarkable lesson we all learn from history is that no nation has ever resolved its crisis through a ‘War War’ approach as leaders have always resorted to the roundtable to ‘jaw jaw’. The year 2015 is the more significant as it provides a veritable opportunity for Nigerians to reaffirm their collective resolve to make the nation’s federalism work for the development of all sections of the country.
We are, however, pained to observe that many legionnaires and ex-servicemen who fought and died in the defense of the nation’s unity have had their pensions and other entitlements locked up with the families unable to access the gratuities of the fallen heroes.
Beyond the ceremonial 21-gun salute, the laying of wreaths, release of pigeons to symbolize the nation’s preference of peace, the observation of one-minute silence, let us practically vote for peace across the 36 states of the Federation. Through our commitment to peace at all times let us practically demonstrate that indeed, the labour and sacrifices of our heroes past shall not be in vain.