The Gambia yesterday remembered and honoured in a military parade the Gambian World War veterans and others who sacrificed for justice to prevail in the world. The solemn ceremony was held Sunday at thyJuly 22nd Square in Banjul.
Wreath-laying at the memorial and observance of one-minute silence marked the event, organised by the Gambia Armed Forces and the Gambia Legion and voluntary organisations.
The 2nd Sunday of every November is celebrated around the world as Rememberance Day. The day is meant to remember the great services of those who gallantly sacrificed their lives for justice to prevail, during the World Wars.
At the start of the ceremony, a one-minute silence was observed for the war veterans, who lost their lives in the wars followed by the laying of the wreath by the Minister of Basic and secondary education Fatou Lamin Faye; Chief of Defence Staff of the Gambia Armed Forces Lt General Ousman Bargie; Inspector General of Police Yankuba Sonko; British ambassador to The Gambia, Colin Croklin; and Mayor Abdoulie Bah of Banjul.
Many people, including senior government officials and members of the diplomatic and consular corps attended the ceremony.
The history of the Remembrance Day parade dated as far back as 11th November 1918 at 11:00am. This was the exact moment when guns were silenced in the Western front during the First World War after four years of continuous war. The 11th day of the 11th month attained special significance in the post-war years.
The First World War brought about the mobilisation of 70 million people and left between nine and 13 million dead, perhaps as many as one third with unknown graves. The allied nations comprising countries such as Britain, America, France, Canada and other countries including The Gambia chose this day and time for the commemoration of those who lost their lives in the war.
by Lamin B. Darboe