May 27, 2008, 4:50 AM
Members of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) and voluntary organizations at the weekend commemorated 2011 Remembrance Day.
The headlights of the comemoration included a parade at the July 22nd Square in Banjul and a similar ceremony held at the Fajara War Cemetery.
The day is meant to remember the sacrifices of those who gallantly shed their blood and sacrificed their lives in the cause for justice.
In The Gambia, the second Sunday of every November each year, people gather to reflect and pay homage to the nation’s war veterans who participated in the first and second world wars and other wars around the world. A two-minute silence was also observed in honour of the heroes.
The British High Commission in The Gambia also observed the annual British High Commission and Gambia Legion Remembrance Day Service at the Commonwealth War Cemetery also called Fajara War Cemetery. Prayers were conducted at the cemetery and the British High commissioner to The Gambia, David Morley together with other dignitaries took turns in laying wreaths at the cenotaph.
The history of the Remembrance Day parade started as far back as 1918 on 11 November 1918 when guns were silenced in the western front during the First World War after four years of continuous warfare.
The 11th day of the 11th month attained special sacrifice and significance in the post-war years. The First World War brought about the mobilisation of 70 million people and left between 9 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 Commonwealth countries including The Gambia chose this day and time for the commemoration of the death of those who lost their lives in the war.
The commemoration of this year’s Remembrance Day was attended by the vice president and minister of Women’s Affairs, Isatou Njie-Saidy, the Lord Mayor of Banjul, members of diplomatic missions and consular corps, religious leaders, security chiefs and other personalities.