WINDHOEK, Aug. 26 — Heroes Day was first celebrated on August 26, 1923, upon the return of the remains of Chief Samuel Maharero. On the occasion of the commemoration of Heroes Day every year since then, we have celebrated Namibia’s courage, her bravery, her strength, and her resilience. We have celebrated the sons and daughters of this beautiful Republic who have laid down their lives in pursuit of freedom, equality, and justice. Today, we enjoy the rewards of their sacrifices. We must never neglect to appreciate the price they paid for our liberties.
As we celebrate Heroes day, we must ponder on the words of renowned political activist, Marcus Garvey: “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots.” Just as we ought to appreciate the
the magnitude of the sacrifices made by those Namibian heroes, so too is it our responsibility to educate the next generation on this significant day in our country’s history, so that they can take pride in the obstinance of our forefathers.
We must remember and recognize the courageous heroes and heroines who united under the umbrella of national consciousness. We must remember a nation that unified in the fight of a common enemy; oppression.
Our heroes and heroines of the past have set a solid foundation for us to build the future of this country on. We ought to acknowledge their contributions towards nation-building and never allow them to be forgotten or threatened. Had it not been for their steadfastness and acts of valour, we would not be the free people that we are today. On this day, we recall the battles that were fought, the numerous setbacks we suffered, but most importantly, the great victories we recorded on our long journey to independence and democracy.
In addition to remembering those who came before us and fought for our political independence, we ought to remember the Genocide victims of 1904-08. We must never forget the men, women and children who were methodically killed by Lothar Von Trotha. The first genocide of the 20th century still has a bearing on our present and for as long as atrocities committed go unresolved, it shall continue to have a bearing on our future. We must remain committed and unwavering in fighting for an honourable deal to improve the economic base of the descendants of the victims of atrocious acts committed from 1904 to 1908. There remains a serious need for self-introspection by the Germans in that regard. It must be our collective desire to come to a mutual agreement, one that offers fair compensation and tangible restorative justice to the descendants and one that ultimately closes one of the darkest chapters in Namibian history.
While we celebrate the heroes who came before us, we also have to celebrate the heroes of today; our academics, athletes, artists and musicians, security forces, civil servants and most of all, the front-line workers all contribute to making this country great. They play a critical role in uniting a country divided by the worst global health crisis of recent times. Every day, countless men and women go to work, in the middle of a global pandemic and put their lives on the line. These individuals are modern-day heroes and heroines.
Like the heroes of yesteryear, we must unite against a common enemy; Covid-19. In the place of weapons and ammunition, our arsenal consists of masks, social distancing and sanitisers. It is our patriotic duty to ensure that we use the means
at our disposal, such as getting vaccinated to curb the spread of this invisible enemy. The days have been dark and at times it seemed like battling Covid-19 was an uphill battle, but we must tap into the spirit of resilience that we are known for
and together, as a unified nation, we shall once more overcome.
We have much to celebrate this Heroes Day. The sacrifices of our forebears were not in vain. Therefore, on this Heroes Day, let us resolve to address our challenges collectively and as a united nation. When days are dark, we must preach unity
and hope, because, by a common cause, our heroes of yesteryear fought and overcame the social ills – together.
Regardless of race, creed, disability, religion, or social standing, we share as a source of pride the identity: “Namibian” we wear the label “citizen of the Land of the Brave” with honour.
In being united by our love for freedom and our commitment to see our nation thrive, let us move forward together towards achieving a stronger, more compassionate, more united and harmonious Land of the Brave.
– By NDN Reporter