Another production line disrupting red letter day may be added to the Botswana calendar which is already drenched in red, to commemorate the country’s fallen heroes.
Consultations are at an advanced stage to turn the commemoration of the Fallen Heroes Day within the Botswana Defence Force into a national public holiday to pay tribute to all known or unknown men and women who sacrificed their lives for Botswana’s freedom. Speaking at the commemoration of the fallen Heroes’ day, Botswana Defence Commander lieutenant General Gaolathe Galebotswe said as BDF they were aware that consultations have begun whereby a commemoration of “this nature will hopefully become a national event where heroes and heroines will be recognized.” The event was graced by President Lieutenant General Khama and former Vice President Lieutenant General Mompati Merafhe.
“Allow me Your Excellency, to thank you in anticipation and it is my fervent hope that all Batswana will embrace the anticipated National Heroes Day. The passing of the fallen heroes should never be in vain hence the theme for this year is WE SHALL NEVER FORGET. It is therefore upon us as a nation that we should live their legacy and uphold their achievements,” said Galebotswe.
He said BDF fallen heroes commemoration is a very small part of Botswana’s appreciation to the many patriotic heroes who played a very pivotal role into what the country it is today. The commemoration was started in February 2011 where the event was geared towards primarily remembering the 15 BDF members who were killed during the Lesoma ambush by the then Rhodesian Regime.
Galebotswe said subsequent to the inaugural commemoration, a deliberate decision was taken to recognize other fallen heroes who have met their demise in the line of duty such as Peace Support Operation (Darfur), Inter Regional Deployments, BOLEAS, local deployments and training to mention a few. “”The fourth commemoration is signified by flags flying at half- mast at this moment to honour and recognize our heroes for putting our country before self,” he said.
By honouring the fallen heroes, Galebotswe said, the nation was keeping their memories alive adding that it is through such that Botswana continues to live in the current freedom, peace and without fear. “As we commemorate this day it would be amiss of me if I do not say to the families of the fallen heroes “re a leboga”. Your loss will never be in vain and we shall never forget the immense contributions and sacrifices made by your loved ones,” he said.